Carlo Abad named Superior Court Judge of N.J.

Hudson County Superior Court Judge Carlo Abad: ‘Well deserved.’

By Cristina DC Pastor

Remember Municipal Judge Carlo Abad of Jersey City?

He was nominated Chief Judge of the Jersey City Municipal Court by former Mayor Jerramiah Healy in 2013 which would have made him the first Filipino – and first Asian — to hold the position. That nomination, however, was blocked by the City Council led by Steven Fulop. Politics was widely suspected as a reason because Healy and Fulop were mayoral contenders at the time.

Abad was named to the post anyway in an acting capacity by Hudson County Superior Court Judge Peter Bariso, according to reports, and stayed in that role until a permanent appointment is made.

Seven years later, or in June 2020, Abad would be reappointed by now-Mayor Fulop. The resolution reappointing Abad as Chief Judge of the Jersey City Municipal Court states that Abad’s term will start on June 10, 2020 — when the resolution was adopted — and end June 14, 2023.

It would be a short-lived assignment because a year into his promotion, Abad would be moving up the judicial ladder again. Early this year, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy nominated him to serve as Superior Court Judge in Hudson County. Abad took his oath as Hudson County Superior Court Judge on March 25. He becomes the second FilAm to be conferred the title. Before Abad, there was suspended Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Carlia Brady who faced ethics charges in 2013 for harboring a fugitive boyfriend with a warrant for armed robbery. The charges for violation of the judicial code of conduct have been dismissed but Brady remains suspended and is unable to return to her old job.

Abad earned his Juris Doctor degree in 2000 from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York. Before that, he completed a B.S. (with High Honors) Major in Administration of Justice from Rutgers University in New Brunswick.  

He started out as an intern in 1995 at the Federal Public Defender’s Office, in Newark followed by an internship at the United States Attorney’s Office, Civil Division, in Newark. He held law clerk positions until he joined the Jersey City Prosecutor’s Office in 2001 as Assistant Municipal Prosecutor.

He became Jersey City Municipal Court Judge in 2008, and became Chief Municipal Court Judge in 2013.

“We are extremely proud of Judge Abad for his well-deserved nomination, and we are thankful for his work in Jersey City,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.


The 2013 decision against Abad was a controversial one as viewed by some in the Filipino American community because it appeared to pit one Filipino against another. Council member Rolando Lavarro had to face questions from the community why he voted against a fellow FilAm. Lavarro, who belonged to the same Democratic party as Fulop, said  his vote had nothing to do with Abad’s credentials.

He echoed Fulop saying it was the process he questioned: “We (council members) talked about (appointments) three weeks ago at the previous meeting and we said we’re not doing long-term appointments until after the election is done.” He said mayors should not be making long-term appointments closer to the date of the election because the act might be misconstrued as politically motivated.

© The FilAm 2021

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