JERSEY CITY, NJ - Mayor Steven Fulop has announced the appointments of Rahat Chatha and Paul Scalia to serve as municipal court judges. The two, upon confirmation by the Jersey City Municipal Council, as well as Judge Karen DeSoto, who currently serves in the position part time and will move to full time, will fill vacancies left open by the appointments of former municipal judges Carlo Abad and Margaret Marley to the Superior Court in Hudson County.
Scalia has served as an Assistant Municipal Prosecutor for Jersey City for the past 20 years and will be appointed as a full-time judge.
“The appointment of our two esteemed judges to Superior Court speaks to the fact that we have only the best judges in our courts, and I know these new judges will expand upon those efforts to cultivate a court system the community can trust,” Fulop said. “Jersey City has one of the busiest municipal court vicinages in New Jersey, and these three new judges bring with them a tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience to help best serve the local community with a diverse and fair judicial system.”
In his previous position, the a statement read, Scalia has developed a unique familiarity with the sensitive issues and intricacies in dealing with matters specific to the local community.
“Having served the citizens of the City of Jersey City as an Assistant Municipal Prosecutor for the past 20 years, it is an honor for me to be nominated to serve as a Municipal Judge in one of the most dynamic and diverse cities in the nation – the City that I was born and raised in,” said Paul Scalia.
"These nominees will ensure that Jersey City continues to have the most problem-solving, public safety-focused municipal courthouse in New Jersey. Additionally, A.P. Scalia has been among our most open-minded prosecutors willing to consider both sides of an argument, which is the most important quality of an effective jurist,” said Chief Municipal Prosecutor Jake Hudnut.
Raised in Jersey City, Chatha has also spent her entire professional career here, most recently focusing on social services. Chatha has specific experience with both the courts in Hudson County and the community by way of her legal and social service work in Jersey City.
"I am honored and excited to join a team of experienced and objective individuals. I will aspire daily to bring justice for the residents of Jersey City,” Chatha said. “I hope to inspire others within my community to have greater confidence in our judicial system and pursue their desired path.”
Judge Karen DeSoto worked for Jersey City as an Assistant Municipal Prosecutor and then as Corporation Counsel in the early 2000s. She has since represented a range of cases in her private practice, from civil rights and employment law, to municipal corporations and everything in between, the statement read. Since 2018, she has served as a part-time Jersey City Municipal Court Judge.
“I started my service to Jersey City over twenty years ago, as Assistant Municipal Prosecutor and then as the first Hispanic female and the youngest person to hold the office of Corporation Counsel in the City. It’s a privilege to use my years of experience to continue to serve the people of Jersey City. I’m looking forward to expanding my role with the courts,” DeSoto said.
“On behalf of the entire Jersey City Municipal Court staff, we are elated to have such qualified, skilled, and highly regarded members of the community who have excelled in a wide range of positions in the legal field, up for appointment to deliver justice and broaden services to the community,” said Wendy Razzoli, Municipal Court Director.
Earlier this week, Mayor Fulop announced the appointment of Judge Ramy Eid as the new Jersey City Chief Municipal Judge to replace Judge Carlo Abad. Judge Eid will assume responsibility for managing one of the largest case dockets in New Jersey.
The Mayor’s Municipal Court appointments will be on the City Council agenda at the next meeting on April 15, 2021.