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. As statutory courts, all jurisdiction and authority is governed by the state legislature.
Elections of judges
Judges of probate are the only members of the state judicial branch elected in Connecticut. 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.
Consolidation of court districts
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 for the 2010 elections.
|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||Max L. Rosenberg (D) ||Stratford||Stratford|
|48||Bridgeport||Paul J. Ganim (D)||Bridgeport||Bridgeport|
|49||Fairfield||Kathleen N. Maxham (D)‡ ||Fairfield||Fairfield|
|50||Weston, Westport||Lisa K. Wexler (D)||Westport||Westport|
|51||Norwalk, Wilton||Douglas Stern (D)||Westport||Norwalk|
|52||Darien, New Canaan||William P. Osterndorf (R)||Darien||Darien|
|53||Stamford||Gerald M. Fox, III (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.
‡ Judge Maxham was elected in an November 6, 2018, general election to succeed Daniel F. Caruso, who died in February 2018.
- "Probate Court Jurisdiction". Jud.ct.gov. Archived from the original on June 17, 2010. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
- "Probate Court History". Jud.state.ct.us. Archived from the original on December 4, 2010. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
- Joseph A. O'Brien (September 27, 2009). "Probate Courts: 'Historic' Makeover". Hartford Courant. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
- "Connecticut probate records". Retrieved 20 February 2019.
- "CT 54 Probate Court Plan" (PDF). Jud.state.ct.us. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
- "Interim Directory of Judges & Districts" (PDF). State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2011. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
- "List of Candidates". Secretary of the State of Connecticut. Archived from the original on November 7, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2011.