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.
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 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 SPombar@ctprobate.gov.
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.