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Press Release Trial Court Opens Renovated Essex Probate and Family Court, Dedication Honoring Retired Judge

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  • Probate and Family Court
  • Massachusetts Court System

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Jennifer Donahue and Erika Gully-Santiago

BOSTON, MA — At an event today in Salem, state, local and court officials participated in an opening ceremony at the renovated Essex Probate and Family Court and a dedication ceremony renaming the courthouse the Thaddeus Buczko Building in honor of retired Essex Probate and Family Court First Justice Thaddeus M. Buczko. Retired First Justice Buczko was a Probate and Family Court judge from 1981 to 1996, whose career in public service spanned 40 years.

Essex County Register of Probate Pamela Casey O’Brien served as Master of Ceremonies and welcomed speakers Governor Charlie Baker, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants, Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey, in addition to a number of other prominent speakers, including: Senator Joan B. Lovely of the 2nd Essex District, who was a co-sponsor of the bill to name the renovated courthouse in honor of retired First Justice Buczko; Representative Paul F. Tucker of the 7th Essex District; Salem Mayor Kimberley L. Driscoll; Division of Capital Asset Management & Maintenance Commissioner Carol Gladstone; Probate and Family Court Chief Justice Angela M. Ordoñez; Essex Probate and Family Court First Justice Jennifer M. Rivera Ulwick; Ryan A. Rapp, Ph. D., great nephew of retired First Justice Buczko; and attorney and radio personality Neil Chayet. Retired First Justice Thaddeus M. Buczko attended the ceremony with family members and also delivered remarks.

Prior to being appointed as a judge, retired First Justice Buczko served as State Auditor from 1964 to 1981; as State Representative of the 10th Essex District from 1959 to 1964; and a Salem City Councilor from 1956 to 1959. In 2014, the legislature passed a bill naming the renovated courthouse in his honor in recognition of his decades of public service in the North Shore and Massachusetts.  

The $50 million dollar renovation of the courthouse began in 2014. The 77,000 square foot space includes renovation of the historic 1909 building, plus demolition and replacement of the 1979 addition. The courthouse, which has four courtrooms, is located next to the new Ruane Judicial Center. It has public wifi access and is anticipated to receive a LEED-Gold rating for its innovative use of energy efficient construction and recycled building materials.


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Probate and Family Court 

The Probate and Family Court Department handles matters involving families and children, like divorce, child support, and wills.

Massachusetts Court System 

The Massachusetts court system consists of the Supreme Judicial Court, the Appeals Court, the Executive Office of the Trial Court, the 7 Trial Court departments, the Massachusetts Probation Service, and the Office of Jury Commissioner.


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