Carol Novey Catuogno will be the new assignment judge in Bergen County, the state’s largest vicinage, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner announced today.
She will replace Judge Bonnie Mizdol, who is retiring after more than 17 years as a Superior Court Judge.
A 56-year-old Republican named to the bench by Gov. Chris Christie in 2018, Novey Catuogno’s has enjoyed a rapid rise through the judicial ranks to get the top post after just five years on the bench. She is up for tenure in February 2025.
Novey Catuogno is a career prosecutor who spent seven years with the Staten Island District Attorney’s office and then over 20 years as an assistant Bergen County Prosecutor. She led the domestic violence division and served as Executive Assistant Prosecutor under Gurbir Grewal, who later became state attorney general.
“Judge Novey Catuogno brings vast experience to her new role from an extensive career in public service,” said Rabner, who made the appointment. “I have every confidence in her ability to lead the Bergen Vicinage.”
Novey Catuogno spent ten months as a family court judge before being elevated to the criminal section in 2019. She has never served as a presiding judge.
She will assume her new post on May 1.
The civil division presiding judge, John O’Dwyer, and Peter Melchionne, the family court presiding judge, both reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 2027; it’s not clear if either applied for the post. Judge Margaret Foti, the criminal court presiding judge, will retire in August when she turns 70.
It’s also not clear if Essex County Family Court Presiding Judge David Katz, a perennial candidate for an assignment judge post in several other counties, applied to succeed Mizdol.