Inside the Essex County
Probate & Family Court
The Essex County Probate and Family Court hears matters in two locations.
The majority of cases are heard at 45 Congress St., Salem; however, for families living in Andover, Lawrence, Methuen, or North Andover, Judge DiGangi hears cases at 2 Appleton St. in Lawrence at the Fenton Judicial Center.
The Fenton Judicial Center holds 10 courtrooms and is home to the District, Housing, Juvenile and Probate & Family Courts.
The judges sitting in Essex County are:
- Hon. Mary Anne Sahagian, First Justice
- Hon. Theresa A. Bisenius, Associate Justice
- Hon. Peter C. DiGangi, Associate Justice
- Hon. Frances M. Giordano, Associate Justice
- Hon. Randy J. Kaplan, First Justice
Each judge hears specific matters on their designated days each week:
- Each Monday, Judges Sahagian, Kaplan, DiGangi and Giordano tend to handle pre-trial conferences and trials. Judge Bisenius hears motions on Mondays.
- On Tuesdays, Judge Sahagian hears motions in Salem. Judge DiGangi hears motions in Lawrence on Mondays. Kaplan tends to handle pre-trial conferences and trials
- Each Wednesday is pre-trial conference and trial day for Judges Sahagian and Bisenius, and Judge Kaplan hears motions and contempts.
- Each Thursday, the judges rotate, handling Department of Revenue (DOR) cases in Salem. If not hearing DOR matters, judges hear pre-trial conferences, trials or contempts.
Information on Essex County Justices
He normally sits in Lawrence, and Justice Peter C. DiGangi may be one of the best judges you could have assigned to your case. He’s open, direct, and pretty much tells you how he sees your case from the minute you present your arguments. Prior to sitting in Essex County, he was the First Justice in Middlesex County. He used to be in private practice, has common sense and is a “tells it as he sees it” type of judge. Do yourself a favor: take a field trip to Lawrence. Watch him handle his cases before yours is scheduled. You’ll learn what works, what doesn’t work and how to present yourself in his courtroom.
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