SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – On the afternoon of Jan. 4, Paul R. Garelick, with his family at his side, was officially sworn in as municipal court judge for his native South Plainfield.
“As someone who grew up in the town and has longtime ties to the community, it is nice to be able to serve in this capacity and I hope that I live up to the honor of the position,” Garelick told TAPinto South Plainfield. “I am looking forward to the opportunity [and] will do my best to do a good job and be fair and just.”
Garelick, a member of South Plainfield High School’s Class of 1986, double majored in criminal justice and sociology at Rutgers University where he was named Henry Rutgers Scholar. He went on to Temple University School of Law and, after earning his law degree in 1993, served for a year as a clerk for Middlesex County Superior Court in New Brunswick.
Garelick joined the Edison-based firm of Lombardi & Lombardi, P.A. the following year and was named partner in September 2000. Over the past 25-plus years, he has specialized in mass torts/class actions, personal injury litigation, products liability, medical malpractice, municipal court, and criminal law. Additionally, he has also served as a public defender in Keansburg (2006 to 2008) and was a municipal prosecutor for both South Plainfield (2008 to 2016) and Dunellen (2013 to 2016).
“My experience has included both civil and criminal law. My full time practice is concentrated primarily on civil litigation, but over the years I have been fortune to have a lot of different experiences,” Garelick said, adding, “I enjoy the diverse areas of civil law that I get to practice on a daily basis and representing my clients to the best of my ability.”
In South Plainfield, the municipal court meets Wednesdays at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. and has the responsibility to maintain all traffic, parking and criminal complaints issued by borough and state police and the Middlesex County Sheriff's Officers for incidents occurring within the municipality. According to the borough website, the municipal court ‘is also the repository for complaints issued by the board of health, zoning officer, fire inspector, consumer affairs, New Jersey Sales Tax, withholding tax violations, environmental and solid waste issues and S.P.C.A. as well as private citizen complaints.’ The court also handles motions to suppress and search and seizure hearings as well as accepts complaints, sets bail, and issues arrest warrants.
“I certainly want to thank the mayor and the council for having the confidence in me to do the job and all the people who have shown support and said kind things since I have been appointed,” said Garelick, extending thanks also to his firm, including senior partners Mike Lombardi and Steve Lombardi, for their support of his judgeship.
“While I’m only on the bench in South Plainfield one day a week, there are other responsibilities associated with being municipal judge," he said. When I am in South Plainfield, I am not [at my firm] and I appreciate the support and accommodations that have been made to allow me to do this.”
In his spare time, Garelick enjoys athletics and has served as a volunteer travel softball coach for more than a decade. Garelick and his wife, Lori Millet, have resided in Monroe Township since 1998 and are parents to Emily, a college junior, and Matthew, a junior in high school. His parents, Paul and Judith Garelick, still reside in South Plainfield.
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