Chief Justice Stuart Rabner today announced that Superior Court Judge Stuart A. Minkowitz will lead the Morris/Sussex Vicinage, effective May 28. He will succeed Assignment Judge Thomas L. Weisenbeck, who is retiring after 10 years on the bench, four as assignment judge.
“The Morris/Sussex Vicinage has flourished under Judge Weisenbeck’s leadership. He has excelled as a judge and a leader, and we wish him the best as he reaches his mandatory retirement date,” said Rabner. “Judge Minkowitz is a gifted jurist, a strong manager, and a dedicated public servant. I am confident that his skill and wisdom will enable him to lead the vicinage with distinction.”
A graduate of the State University of New York at Albany and Brooklyn Law School, Judge Minkowitz began his career in public service in the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office in 1992. In 1996, he joined the Hackensack firm of Cole, Schotz, Meisel, Forman & Leonard as an associate. He returned to public service in the U. S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey, working as a civil health care fraud coordinator. He remained in that position until his appointment to the bench by Gov. Jon Corzine. He took the oath of judicial office on Jan. 10, 2008.
From 1999 until his appointment to the bench, Minkowitz served as a captain in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, first in the United States Army Reserve, and then in the New Jersey Army National Guard. In that role, he conducted legal reviews of administrative actions and policies, acted as legal advisor to administrative hearing boards, and provided legal assistance to soldiers and their families.
While on the bench, Minkowitz served first in the family division, then moved to the criminal division in 2011. He was named presiding judge of the criminal division in December 2012. Since December 2014, he has served as the statewide Megan’s Law coordinator. He also has been a member of the Criminal Division Visitation Team, which reviews and reports on the implementation of criminal division standards and best practices statewide. Other committee service includes the Conference of Criminal Presiding Judges, the Conference of Drug Court Judges, and a working group to explore technology solutions for judicial work. He has served on the faculty of the annual Judicial College as well as on other judicial education panels.
“I am delighted to accept the chief’s appointment, and I look forward to working with the judges and staff of the Morris/Sussex vicinage to serve the public in this new role,” said Minkowitz.