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Judge Thomas W. Sumners, Jr. (Photo: New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts).

Sumners tapped as chief appellate judge

By David Wildstein, April 12 2023 2:35 pm

Superior Court Judge Thomas W. Sumners, Jr. has been named chief judge of the Appellate Division, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner announced today.

Sumners will replace Carmen Messano, who turns 70 next months and is retiring after more than a quarter-century on the bench.

Rabner also named another appellate judge, Heidi W. Currier, as the acting deputy presiding judge for administration.

“Judge Messano is one of the giants of the Judiciary, and the Appellate Division has benefited greatly from his steady leadership and wise counsel,” said Rabner.  “We also are fortunate to have a strong bench with Judges Sumners and Currier, and I am confident they will continue the tradition of excellence for which the Appellate Division is widely known.”

Gov. Jon Corzine nominated Sumners to the Superior Court in 2008.   He was elevated to the appellate court in 2014.   He can hold the post until he turns 70 in 2028.

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