Former Monmouth County Sheriff Joe Oxley’s nomination to the Superior Court was confirmed by the State Senate this afternoon after having been unanimously approved by the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee earlier in the day.
Four of the other nominees confirmed today will be joining Oxley on the Monmouth County bench. Angela White Dalton of Howell, a former Township Councilwoman, Katie A. Gummer of Rumson, Arnold L. Natali, Jr of Little Silver and Mara E. Zazzali-Hogan of Shrewsbury are each expected to be confirmed by the Senate today. Zazzali-Hogan is the daughter of former NJ Chief Justice James R. Zazzali. Zazzali was Chief Justice for seven months, October 2006 until his mandatory retirement in June of 2007, after being nominated for the top post by Governor Corzine. He became an Associate Justice in June of 2000.
Monmouth County Assignment Judge Lawrence M. Lawson told MMM last December that the Court has been operating with six vacancies. Kathy Sheedy of Cream Ridge was nominated by Governor Christie on Monday to fill the final vacancy.
Lawson was not available when MMM called this afternoon to ask what the assignments will be for the new judges.
Monmouth County Senators Jennifer Beck and Joe Kyrillos issued the following statement praising the New Jersey Senate’s confirmation of five Monmouth County residents to be judges of the Superior Court:
“Monmouth County, like counties across the state, has had a number of judicial vacancies that have caused backlogs in our court system. We are pleased that the New Jersey Senate has finally taken action to confirm qualified nominees. By filling judicial vacancies, we can ensure that all kinds of legal proceedings, from criminal trials to divorce proceedings, can be heard in court in a timely manner.”
UPDATE and CORRECTION 2/8/13
Judge Lawson told MMM this afternoon that despite his Monmouth County residence, Natali will be assigned to the Middlesex County Vicinage. If Sheedy is confirmed by the Senate, the Monmouth Court will still have a vacancy.
A second vacancy will occur if Judge David F. Bauman is confirmed as an Associate Justice of the State Supreme Court. Bauman and Board of Public Utilities President Robert Hanna were nominated to the Supreme Court by Governor Christie on December 10, 2012. Senate President Steve Sweeney said this week that he wouldn’t be rushed into holding confirmation hearings for the two Supreme Court nominations.
Lawson said that the new Monmouth Judges will be assigned in either Family Court or Civil Court. He has yet to determine who will be assigned where.