- District Court
- Executive Office of the Trial Court
- Massachusetts Court System
Media Contact for Honorable Stacey J. Fortes Appointed Chief Justice of the District Court by Trial Court Chief Justice Jeffrey A. Locke
Jennifer Donahue and Erika Gully-Santiago
BOSTON, MA — Trial Court Chief Justice Jeffrey A. Locke today announced the appointment of Judge Stacey J. Fortes as Chief Justice of the District Court for a five-year term in accordance with G.L. c.211B, §5.
“I am delighted that Judge Fortes has agreed to serve in this important position at this challenging time as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic,” said Chief Justice Locke. “Judge Fortes’ extensive experience as an attorney and as a judge for 16 years, and her passion and commitment to the largest department in the Trial Court, ensures that the District Court will thrive under her leadership.”
Judge Fortes was appointed by Governor Mitt Romney to the District Court in 2006. Since 2014, she has served as a Regional Administrative Justice, overseeing nine courts and the assignments of 26 judges. In 2017, she was appointed First Justice of Lowell District Court. The same year, she was appointed Chair of the District Court Committee on Racial and Ethnic Fairness. Prior to joining the bench, she was Chief of District Court Prosecution for the Suffolk District Attorney, following her service as an Assistant District Attorney in that office since 1994. Judge Fortes is a graduate of American University and Suffolk Law School.
“I am extremely humbled and honored to be appointed as the next Chief Justice of the District Court and grateful for the confidence Chief Justice Locke has placed in me,” said Judge Fortes. “I recognize that these are big shoes to fill – Chief Justice Dawley has been an outstanding Chief for all of us in the District Court. The strength of the District Court is the people who serve in the court and I look forward to working with them to continue serving the residents of the Commonwealth.”
The District Court Department is comprised of 62 divisions with 158 authorized judicial positions across the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Trial Court includes seven court departments with 385 judges who deliver justice in 97 courthouses across the state.