Data on Northeast Supreme Courts

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1.)   The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is the highest court in the commonwealth. It is also the oldest appellate court in the nation, dating back to 1684. The court makes final interpretations of state law and has administrative authority over the entire Pennsylvania court system. Seven justices make up the court; they are elected to 10 year terms. The longest serving member of the court presides as chief justice. The court holds sessions in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. The Supreme Court receives about 2,500 civil and criminal appeals each year. Pa Justices include: Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, and Associate Justices, Justice Thomas G. Saylor, Justice J. Michael Eakin, Justice Max Baer, Justice Debra McCloskey Todd, Justice Seamus P. McCaffrey, Justice Joan Orie Melvin.[1]

Pa Judicial Salaries- Chief Justice Ronald Castille receives $200,992.14 per year; all other justices are paid $195,308.60.  The salary of Pa’s chief justice ranks 5th among U.S. chief justices’ salaries. The salary of Pa’s associate justices ranks 3rd among U.S. associate justice’s Justices’ salaries.[2]

Pension and Retirement- Justices may retire at Age 60 or the age when the member attains 35 eligibility points, if earlier. Mandatory age retirement of 70. Age Requirement to receive full pension benefits- Age 60 or the age when the member attains 35 eligibility points, if earlier. Retirement Allowance- 1.5 (reduced class multiplier) x 2% (.02) x final average salary x years of class E-1 service class in excess of 10.

2.)   The Connecticut Supreme Court, formerly known as the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors, is the highest court in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It consists of a Chief Justice and six Associate Justices. The seven justices sit in Hartford. The court generally holds eight sessions of two or three weeks per year, with one session each September through November and January through May. Justices are appointed by the Governor and then approved by the Connecticut General Assembly.[3] Connecticut Justices include Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers, Associate Justices Flemming L. Norcott, Jr, Richard N. Palmer, Peter T. Zarella, C. Ian McLachlan, Dennis G. Eveleigh, Lubbie Harper, Jr. and Senior Justice Christine S. Vertefeuille.[4]

CT Judicial Salaries (2009)- Chief Justice Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers receives $175, 645; all other justices receive $162,250. The salary of Connecticut’s associate justices’ ranks 17th among U.S. associate justice’s salaries.[5]

Pensions and Retirement- Connecticut has a mandatory retirement age of 70 for all justices. Age Requirement to receive full pension benefits- Age 65 with 20 years of service; 30 years of service.

3.)   Delaware Supreme Court is the highest court in the state of Delaware. The Court has final appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases in which the sentence exceeds certain minimums, in civil cases as to final judgments and for certain other orders of the Court of Chancery, the Superior Court and the Family Court. The Supreme Court has discretionary jurisdiction to issue writs of prohibition, quo warranto, certiorari, mandamus or to accept appeals of certain non-final orders or certified questions. Delaware’s supreme court consists of a chief justice and 4 other justices; Chief Justice Chief Justice Myron T. Steele, Randy J. Holland, Carolyn Berger, Henry DuPont Ridgely, Jack B. Jacobs.[6]

DE Judicial Salaries (2009)- Chief Justice Chief Justice Myron Steele received $194,750; all other justices received $185,050[7].

Pensions and Retirement- Delaware does not have a mandatory retirement age for Judges. Age Requirement to receive full pension benefits- Age 62 with 12 years of service; 24 years of service. Retirement Allowance- Final Average Compensation multiplied by 0.041 for years 1-12 and 0.021 of final compensation for years 13-24.[8]

4.)   Maine Supreme Court is the supreme judicial court, established in 1820. Itis the State’s highest court and the court of final appeal. It has seven justices, presided over by the Chief Justice. The Court’s major job is to decide appeals on questions of law that arise in civil actions and criminal trials. Questions of law are presented to the Court when a case is appealed from a trial court. The justices include Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley, Donald G. Alexander, Jon D. Levy, Warren M. Silver, Andrew M. Mead, Ellen A. Gorman, Joseph M. Jabar. [9]

Maine Judicial Salaries (2009)- Chief Justice Leigh Ingalls Saufley received $138,294; all other associate justices received $119, 476.[10]

Pensions and Retirement- Maine does not have a mandatory age for retirement.  Requirement to receive full pension benefits- Age 70 or 18 years of service; 65 with 15 years or 65 with 6 consecutive years; 70 with 12 years or 70 with less than 6 years, but continuously from date of appointment to the age of 70; 12 years. Retirement Allowance- 0.2%  of average final compensation for years of 1985 to 1998, and 3% of average final compensation for years beginning in 1998, not to exceed 70% of final average compensation. [11]

ME Supreme Court Staff- Matt Pollack, Esq Clerk of the Law Court and Reporter of Decisions, Joan E. Galli, Associate Clerk of the Law Court, Sally Enoch Esq; Staff Attorney.

5.)   Massachusetts Supreme Court- is the highest court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Supreme Judicial Court has the distinction of being the oldest continuously functioning appellate court in the Western Hemisphere. The full bench renders approximately 200 written decisions each year; the single justices decide a total of approximately 600 cases annually. The Justices include Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland, Francis X. Spina, Robert J. Cordy, Margot Botsford, Ralph D. Gants, Fernande R.V. Duffly, Barbara A. Lenk.

MA Judicial Salaries (2009)- Chief Justice Margaret Marshall received $151,239:all other justices received $145,984.

Pensions and Retirement- Massachusetts has a mandatory retirement age of 70.

Age Requirement to Receive Full Pension Benefits- Age 65 with 15 years of service.

Retirement Allowance- 75% of salary.

6.)   Maryland Supreme Court- The Maryland court system has four levels: two trial courts and two appellate courts. The trial courts consider evidence presented in a case and make judgments based on the facts, the law and legal precedent (prior legal decisions from a higher court). Appellate courts review a trial court’s actions and decisions and decide whether the trial judge properly followed the law and legal precedent. Instead of a Supreme Court, MD’s highest court is the Court of Appeals. Judges include Chief Justice Robert M. Bell, Glen T. Harrell Jr., Lynne A. Battaglia, Clayton Greene Jr., Joseph F. Murphy Jr., Sally D. Adkins, Mary Ellen Barbera. [12]

MD. Judicial Salaries (2009)- Chief Justice Robert Bell received $181,352; all other justices received $162, 352 [13].

Pensions and Retirement- Maryland has a mandatory retirement age of 70.

Age Requirement to Receive Full Pension Benefits- Age 60.

Retirement Allowance- 67% of salary.

7.)   New Jersey Supreme Court- The New Jersey Supreme Court is the highest appellate court. It is composed of a chief justice and six associate justices. As the state’s highest appellate court, the New Jersey Supreme Court decides appeals from the lower courts and cases in which a panel of appellate judges has disagreed on one or more issues on appeal. In addition, litigants may file a petition for certification with the Court to request that they hear their appeal. The Court may agree to hear an appeal because it presents legal cases of great importance to the public or because the issue is the subject of separate, conflicting appellate opinions. Justices include Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, Virginia Long, Jaynee LaVecchia, Barry T. Albin, Helen E. Hoens, Anne M. Patterson.[14]

NJ. Judicial Salaries (2009)- Chief Justice Stuart Rabner received $192,795; all other justices received $185, 482[15].

Pensions and Retirement- New Jersey has a mandatory retirement age of 70.

Age Requirement to Receive Full Pension Benefits- Age 70 with 10 years of service; 65 but not yet 70 with 15 years of service; 60 but not yet 65 with 20 years of service.

Retirement Allowance- 50% of salary.

8.)   New York Supreme Court- is the trial-level court of general jurisdiction in the state court system of New York, United States. There is a supreme court in each of New York States’ 62 counties, although some smaller counties share judges with neighboring counties. All but the most populous counties are grouped into judicial districts from which the justices are elected, with unwritten agreements allotting the judgeships among the counties of the district.[16] Justices include Chief Justice Jonathan Lippman, Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, Victoria Graffeo, Robert Smith, Theodore Jones, Susan Read, Eugene Pigott.

NY Judicial Salaries (2009)- Chief Justice Jonathan Lippman received $156,000; all other justices received $151,200. The salary of New York’s chief justice ranks 22nd among U.S. chief justices’ salaries.[17]

Pensions and Retirement- New York has a mandatory age retirement age of 70.

Age requirement to Receive Full Pension Benefits- 60.

Retirement Allowance- The sum of an annuity which shall be the actuarial equivalent of the Justice’s accumulated contributions at the time of his retirement, and a pension which is the actuarial equivalent of the reserve-for increased-take-home-pay to which he may then be entitled, if any and a pension of one-one hundred fortieth of his final average salary, multiplied by the number of years for which he has member service credit.

9.)   New Hampshire Supreme Court- The New Hampshire supreme court is composed of A Chief Justice and four associate justices, sits in Concord, and is the state’s only appellate court. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction to review appeals from the State trial courts and from many State administrative agencies. It also has original jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition, habeas corpus and other writs. The duties of the Supreme court include correcting errors in trial court proceedings, interpreting case law and statutes and the state and federal constitutions and administration of the courts.[18] Justices include Chief Justice Linda Stewart Dalianis, James E. Duggan, Gary E. Hicks, Carol Ann Conboy, Robert J. Lynn.

NH Judicial Salaries (2009)- Chief Justice Linda Stewart Dalianis receives $151,477: all other justices receive $146,917.

Pensions and Retirement- New Hampshire has a mandatory retirement age of 70.

Age Requirement to Receive Full Pension Benefits- Age 60 with 15 years; 65 with 10 years; 70 with 7 years of service.  

Retirement Allowance- Age 65 with 10 years, 75% of final salary; age 70 with 7 years, 45% of salary plus an additional 10% over the 45% level for each year over 7 years.

10.) Vermont Supreme Court- The Vermont Supreme Court performs five basic functions. It hears finals appeals from all cases originating in state courts and from certain administrative agency proceedings. It establishes rules of civil, criminal, family and appellate procedure. It administers the court system, admits attorneys to practice and serves as the disciplinary authority for all judicial officers and attorneys.[19]

VT Judicial Salaries (2010) –  Chief Justice Paul Reiber receives $135,421; all other justices receive $129,245.

Pensions and Retirement- Vermont has a mandatory age of retirement of 70.

Age Requirement to Receive Full Pension Benefits- 12 years of service .

Retirement Allowance- After 12 years of service, 40% of salary; each additional year after 12, 3 33% of salary without exceeding salary at retirement .



[1] www.courts.state.pa.us

[2]  ballotpedia

[4] www.jud.ct.gov

[5] Sunshinereview.org

[6] courts.delaware.gov

[7] Sunshinereview.org

[8] www.nasra.org

[9] www.maine.gov

[10] Sunshinereview.org

[11] Nasra.org

[12] Courts.state.md.us

[13] sunshinereview

[14] www.judiciary.state.nj.us

[15] sunshinereview

[16] Wikipedia.org

[17] sunshinereview

[18] www.courts.state.nh.us

[19] Vermontjudiciary.org

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Kenneth L. Mickens II was born and raised in Harrisburg, Pa. He attended Hampton University and graduated with a B.S. in Sport Management, Kenneth also attended East Stroudsburg University of PA where he attained his Master’s degree in Management and Leadership. Kenneth works as an educator in the Harrisburg School District. - Email Ken Mickens

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