Connecticut Probate Courts

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The Connecticut Probate Court system is a system of 54 individual probate courts located throughout the state of Connecticut. The jurisdiction of each court extends to the legal affairs of the deceased, estates, some aspects of family law, conservatorship, and several other matters requiring specific legal decisions.[1] As statutory courts, all jurisdiction and authority is governed by the state legislature.[2]

Elections of judges[edit]

Judges of probate are the only members of the state judicial branch elected in Connecticut.[3] Judges are elected in partisan elections and hold office for a term of four years, their elections held within the same cycle as gubernatorial elections.

Previously, laws permitted anyone to run as a candidate for judge of probate regardless of previous judicial or legal experience. However, a state law which went into effect on January 5, 2011 now requires candidates for judge of probate to be both a lawyer and a member of the Connecticut bar.[3]

Consolidation of court districts[edit]

After operating without much change since 1850, growing financial difficulties in the state and within the probate courts created the need for the system to be overhauled. In the summer of 2009, the Probate Court Redistricting Commission assembled to review the aging court system and make recommendations for decreasing the number of judicial districts from 117. In September 2009, the commission announced its consolidation plan to reduce the number of districts to 54[4] for the 2010 elections.

Probate districts[edit]

The currently elected judges of probate,[5][6] elected from January 2011 through January 2015:

District Municipalities served Judge of probate Judge's residence Location of court
1 Hartford Robert K. Killian, Jr. (D) Hartford Hartford
2 West Hartford Sydney W. Elkin (D) West Hartford West Hartford
3 Bloomfield, East Granby, Suffield, Windsor Locks Steven M. Zelman (D) Bloomfield Windsor Locks
4 East Windsor, South Windsor, Windsor Marianne Lassman Fisher (D) South Windsor South Windsor
5 East Hartford Allan T. Driscoll (D) East Hartford East Hartford
6 Glastonbury, Hebron Peter Jay Alter (D) South Glastonbury (Glastonbury) Glastonbury
7 Newington, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield Robert Randich (D) Newington Newington
8 Berlin, New Britain Walter A. Clebowicz (D) New Britain New Britain
9 Avon, Canton, Granby, Simsbury Cynthia C. Becker (R) Avon Simsbury
10 Burlington, Farmington Evelyn M. Daly (D) Farmington Farmington
11 Enfield, Somers, Stafford Timothy R. Keeney (R) Somersville (Somers) Enfield
12 Ellington, Vernon James Purnell, III (R) Vernon Vernon
13 Andover, Bolton, Columbia, Manchester Michael M. Darby (D) Manchester Manchester
14 East Haddam, East Hampton, Marlborough, Portland Jennifer L. Berkenstock (R) East Hampton Marlborough
15 Cromwell, Durham, Middlefield, Middletown Joseph D. Marino (D) Middletown Middletown
16 Meriden Brian T. Mahon (D) Meriden Meriden
17 Wallingford Philip A. Wright, Jr. (D) Wallingford Wallingford
18 Cheshire, Southington Matthew J. Jalowiec (R) Cheshire Cheshire
19 Bristol, Plainville, Plymouth Andre D. Dorval (D) Bristol Bristol
20 Waterbury, Wolcott Thomas P. Brunnock (D) Waterbury Waterbury
21 Beacon Falls, Naugatuck, Middlebury, Prospect Peter E. Mariano (R) Naugatuck Naugatuck
22 Bethlehem, Oxford, Roxbury, Southbury, Washington, Watertown, Woodbury Domenick Calabrese (R) Watertown Southbury
23 Barkhamsted, Colebrook, Goshen, Hartland, New Hartford, Torrington, Winchester Michael F. Magistrali (R) Torrington Torrington
24 Canaan, Cornwall, Harwinton, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, Norfolk, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Thomaston, Warren Diane Blick (D) Litchfield Litchfield
25 Coventry, Mansfield, Tolland, Willington Claire C. Twerdy (D) Coventry Tolland
26 Ashford, Brooklyn, Eastford, Pomfret, Putnam, Thompson, Union, Woodstock Leah P. Schad (D) Pomfret Center (Pomfret) North Grosvenordale (Thompson)
27 Canterbury, Killingly, Plainfield, Sterling David A. Griffiths (D) Danielson (Killingly) Plainfield
28 Colchester, Chaplin, Hampton, Lebanon, Scotland, Windham John J. McGrath (D) Windham Willimantic (Windham)
29 Bozrah, Franklin, Griswold, Lisbon, Norwich, Preston, Sprague, Voluntown Charles K. Norris (R) Norwich Norwich
30 Groton, Ledyard, North Stonington, Stonington Nicholas Kepple (D) Stonington Groton
31 New London, Waterford Mathew H. Greene (D) New London New London
32 East Lyme, Montville, Old Lyme, Salem Jeffrey A. McNamara (R) East Lyme Niantic (East Lyme)
33 Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Westbrook Terrance Lomme (D) Essex Old Saybrook
34 Guilford, Madison Joel E. Helander (R) Guilford Madison
35 Branford, North Branford Frank J. Forgione (R) Northford (North Branford) Branford
36 East Haven, North Haven Michael R. Brandt (R) North Haven East Haven
37 Bethany, Hamden Salvatore L. Diglio (D) Hamden Hamden
38 New Haven John A. Keyes (D) New Haven New Haven
39 West Haven Mark J. DeGennaro (D) West Haven West Haven
40 Milford, Orange Beverly Streit-Kefalas (D) Milford Milford
41 Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, Woodbridge Clifford D. Hoyle (D) Ansonia Ansonia
42 Shelton Fred J. Anthony (R) Shelton Shelton
43 Danbury Dianne E. Yamin (R) Danbury Danbury
44 Bridgewater, Brookfield, New Fairfield, New Milford, Sherman Martin F. Landgrebe (R) New Milford New Milford
45 Bethel, Newtown, Ridgefield, Redding Joseph A. Egan, Jr. (R) Ridgefield Bethel
46 Easton, Monroe, Trumbull T.R. Rowe (R) Trumbull Trumbull
47 Stratford F. Paul Kurmay (R) Stratford Stratford
48 Bridgeport Paul J. Ganim (D) Bridgeport Bridgeport
49 Fairfield Daniel F. Caruso (R) Fairfiled Fairfield
50 Weston, Westport Kevin M. O'Grady (D) Weston Westport
51 Norwalk, Wilton Anthony J. DePanfilis (R) Westport Norwalk
52 Darien, New Canaan Michael P. Murray (R) Darien Darien
53 Stamford Gerald M. Fox, Jr. (D) Stamford Stamford
54 Greenwich David W. Hopper (R) Greenwich Greenwich

Judge Kepple was elected in an August 16, 2011, special election to fill the unexpired term of Fred Palm, who died in March 2011.

Judge Lassman Fisher was elected in an August 21, 2012, special election to fill the unexpired term of Brian Griffin, who died in February 2012.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Probate Court Jurisdiction". Jud.ct.gov. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Probate Court History". Jud.state.ct.us. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Joseph A. O'Brien (September 27, 2009). "Probate Courts: 'Historic' Makeover". Hartford Courant. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  4. ^ "CT 54 Probate Court Plan" (PDF). Jud.state.ct.us. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Interim Directory of Judges & Districts" (PDF). State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch. Retrieved February 16, 2011. 
  6. ^ "List of Candidates". Secretary of the State of Connecticut. Retrieved February 16, 2011. 

External links[edit]