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Superior Court Judge Linda Mazzolli

Murphy won’t renominate sitting Superior Court Judge

Judge Linda Mallozzi says she’s been treated unfairly, doesn’t know reason for being dropped

By David Wildstein, March 19 2020 4:29 pm

Superior Court Judge Linda Mallozzi will not be renominated by Gov. Phil Murphy, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

Mallozzi told the Globe that she was informed of the decision by telephone on Monday.

“I find it to be an injustice.  I believe I have been treated unfairly.  I feel I should be renominated,” Mallozzi told the Globe during a telephone interview. “I am astonished, stunned and heartbroken.”

Mallozzi, appointed by Gov. Chris Christie in 2013, will be off the bench on May 3 when their seven-year terms expire.  Mallozzi sits on the family court in Union County.

It is not immediately clear why Murphy has decided not to renominate her.  The effective termination of a sitting judge is uncommon.

A decision to not offer tenure to a sitting judge is uncommon.

Mallozzi told the Globe that she doesn’t know why Murphy decided against her renomination.

“I’m trying to find out why and I’m not getting an answer,” she said.  “I’d like to know.  I believe I have been a good judge.”

No disciplinary actions have been filed against Mallozzi, according to an online database maintained by the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct.

If renominated, the 63-year-old Mallozzi could have served on the bench until reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 2027.

Senate President Steve Sweeney hinted, perhaps inadvertently, that Mallozzi was on her way out today when he said the Senate is caught up with judicial nominations for the next three months.

“The next judge that has any judge that has any risk of having a break in service isn’t until the middle of July,” Sweeney said on call with reporters earlier today.  “We don’t want to create uncertainty with the judiciary system at all.”

A new Senate rule approved today that allows senators to vote remotely as the state deals with the coronavirus epidemic does not include the confirmation of judges.

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