Although Weston’s probate judge has resigned, the probate court is still open and operating as usual.
Westonite Kevin O’Grady, probate judge for the Westport-Weston district, announced recently that he was resigning because of ongoing health issues. He has been out on medical leave since 2011.
For the past three years, Fairfield’s probate judge, Daniel Caruso, has been filling in for Judge O’Grady, whose term is due to expire in 2014.
Judge Caruso said he comes to Westport one day a week and will continue to do so until a new probate judge is elected.
“I spend Tuesdays in Westport with hearings, and am available in Fairfield on other days if anyone needs my services,” he said.
The replacement for a probate judge is done by the governor’s office, which will call for a special election, Judge Caruso said. On Monday, a representative from the governor’s office said the office has not yet received notice of Judge O’Grady’s resignation.
Judge O’Grady, a Weston Democrat, has served as probate judge for Weston and Westport since 1999.
In his resignation letter to Chief Judge Paul J. Knierim, Judge O’Grady wrote, “It has been my absolute privilege to have worked with you and all of my colleagues on the probate court bench. I am proud to have been a part of such a fine group of individuals. Please extend my heartfelt best wishes to all of the members of the probate court family and my thanks for all they have done for me.
Connecticut is divided into 132 probate districts, each of which is presided over by a judge of probate who is elected to office for a four-year term. The Westport-Weston Probate Court District is part of the Connecticut State Probate system and is located in Westport Town Hall. It serves the residents of Westport and Weston.
“I’m happy to continue to take care of the people in Westport and Weston,” Judge Caruso said.
Probate courts have jurisdiction over many matters, including:
- Probating wills and the administration of estates.
- Overseeing testamentary and living trusts.
- Determining title to real and personal property.
- Construing the meaning of wills and trusts.
- Appointing guardians for the mentally retarded.
- Appointing conservators of the person and the estate of incapable individuals.
- Committing those suffering from mental illness to an appropriate facility.
- Removing unfit parents as guardians of their children.
- Terminating parental responsibilities.
- Granting adoptions.
- Granting name changes.