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Judge Magistrali And Staff of The New Torrington Area Probate District Court Sworn In Before Large Crowd In New Hartford

Photos & Text By: Maria Moore

It was standing room only in the New Hartford Senior Center yesterday afternoon as family members, colleagues, well-wishers and members of the media all came together to witness the swearing-in of Judge Michael Magistrali and his staff, who are now the officials of the newly-formed Torrington Area Probate District Court.

Brian Mattiello

Former State Representative Brian Mattiello welcomed everyone to the ceremony; Mr. Mattiello had been Judge Magistrali’s campaign manager during last fall’s elections had there been a campaign since Judge Magistrali ran unopposed. Mr. Mattiello was followed by Attorney Thomas Wall who administered the oath of office to Judge Magistrali; Attorney Wall is a long-time colleague of Judge Magistrali, someone whom, the Judge said, he had admired since his childhood when he remembered seeing Attorney Wall walking to his Torrington office.

Once he had been sworn in as the head of the new Probate District Court, Judge Magistrali swore in his office staff, beginning with the office assistant, “Judy” Batista, then the Assistant Clerks, Shelley Consodine and Paula Marchetti and then the Clerk Gayle Pellegren. Suzanne Pombar, who was formerly the Clerk of the New Hartford Probate Court, was sworn in by former Judge Skip Rogers, long-time Probate Judge in New Hartford, and as a testament to their many years working together, the two hugged as they wished each other well.

Judge Michael Magistrali

Judge Magistrali made a point of thanking the retiring judges from the former local probate courts who sat in the audience, among them Judge Isabell (Hartland), Judge Rogers (New Hartford and Barkhamsted), and Judge Barber (Winchester). He especially acknowledged the personal help and support he has received from Judge Alan Barber and Judge Skip Rogers and he presented both with a certificate commemorating their years of service as probate judges.

And then the ceremony was brought to a close, with Judge Magistrali inviting all to stay and visit and enjoy the refreshments which he hoped, looking at the large crowd assembled, would be sufficient for all.

The Torrington Area Probate District Court includes the towns of Barkhamsted, Colebrook, Goshen, Hartland, New Hartford, Torrington and Winchester. The Torrington Area District Probate Court is one of 54 new probate districts which have replaced the 117 local probate courts previously in place in Connecticut. This regionalization of probate courts is part of the state effort to regionalize services and effect cost savings.

The Torrington Area Probate District Court is located on the first floor of Torrington City Hall at 140 Main Street, Torrington, CT 06790; telephone #: 860-489-2216. For information or with questions regarding New Hartford probate matters please contact Suzanne Pombar at the Torrington Area Probate District Court at 860-489-2215 or by emailing Suzanne at

Congratulations and best wishes: to Judge Michael Magistrali and his Staff on their appointment to the Torrington Area Probate District Court, our new district probate court.

The staff of the new Torrington Area Probate District Court.

Suzanne Pombar is sworn in as Clerk of the new Probate District Court by former Judge Skip Rogers. The two had worked together for many years in the New Hartford Probate Court.

Suzanne and Skip hug at the end of Suzanne's swearing in, a sign of the friendship between the two former officials of the now disbanded New Hartford Probate Court.

Gayle Pellegren being sworn in as Clerk by Judge Magistrali. The two had also worked together in the former Torrington Probate Court.

Judge Michael Magistrali with Attorney Thomas Wall.

Judge Michael Magistrali is sworn in as the new Judge of the Torrington Area Probate District Court by Attorney Wall.

Judge Magistrali presents former Judge Alan Barber a certificate of appreciation.

Judge Magistrali presents former Winchester Judge of Probate Alan Barber with a certificate of appreciation.

New Hartford's former Probate Judge, Skip Rogers, receives a certificate of appreciation from Judge Michael Magistrali of the new Torrington Area Probate District Court.

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