Inside the Suffolk County
Probate & Family Court
The Suffolk County Probate and Family Court (sometimes referred to as the Boston Family Court) is located at 24 New Chardon St. two blocks from Faneuil Hall, the TD Bank Garden and North Station.
Five judges typically handle the caseload of 16,000 to 17,000 actions filed each year in Suffolk County:
- Hon. Joan Armstrong, First Justice
- Hon. Brian J. Dunn, Associate Justice
- Hon. Elaine M. Moriarty, Associate Justice
- Hon. Abbe L. Ross, Associate Justice
- Hon. Virginia M. Ward, Associate Justice (Circuit Judge)
Information on Suffolk County Justices:
Prior to becoming a sitting judge in the Probate and Family Court, Justice Brian Dunn was a solo practitioner concentrating on civil litigation, specifically child custody, probate and family law and mental health proceedings. He was responsible for all aspects of case management and trial representation of his cases. He also served as a conservator, guardian and guardian ad litem for children and adults in mental health, special education, custody, delinquency and medical cases. Additionally, Judge Dunn was co-founder and president of a non-profitable and charitable corporation which provided children in foster care or otherwise court involved with art, drama, voice, music and dance lessons and opportunities to attend performing art events.
Known to be a formidable opponent as a lawyer in the courtroom, Justice Abbe Ross had the respect of both the court and her peers prior to becoming a judge in Suffolk County. She has a conciliatory approach and encourages parties to work and resolve their matters together. As an attorney, she tended to be ready and willing to work through temporary orders with opposing counsel. Judge Ross briefed three full appeals in the Appellate Court and argued two of the three before the Court.
Unique Statistics Relating to the Middlesex County Probate & Family Court
More parties filed paternity actions in Suffolk County than any other county in Massachusetts during 2014. Of the 17,284 cases filed statewide, 2,817 (16 percent) were filed from men and women living in Boston, Brighton, Charlestown, Chelsea, Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Revere, Roslindale, South Boston and Winthrop.
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