The Essex County Surrogate's Court empowers residents to make the right decisions for their families at every stage, from birth through adoptions and guardianships, to death through will validation and estate management. We touch the lives of every resident across our community. Here, we will outline the previous year’s successes and progress, as well as our goals for the upcoming year.


Essex County Residents Served

2021 has been one of our busiest years in recent memory. Because of our ongoing efforts to educate the public on the breadth of services that our office provides—through a variety of events, webinars, media coverage, and more—we’re proud to share that we experienced a 16% increase in our caseload, which means we’ve provided more Essex County residents with the support they need to make the right decisions for their families.

Taxpayer Dollars Saved

The Essex County Surrogate’s Court provides invaluable support services to the Essex County community at little to no cost to our taxpayers. In 2021, the revenue generated from our services covered 98% of our budget, making our office efficient, impactful, and most importantly, self-sustaining.

Looking Ahead

Starting in 2023, we will embark on the goal to digitize all public records from the 1700s to 2016. Currently, most of the court’s records are on microfiche/microfilm and books. We will digitize them in a format that will allow us to upload them to our Bluestone Database, with the ultimate goal of making them accessible online.

This project is expected to take 3 years and cost approximately $1 million. Because of the pandemic, we recognized that in the future, physical access to these records may be limited due to varying circumstances. Digitizing the records will ensure that the public can access them regardless of their physical availability. Additionally, it will account for the deterioration of the paper records from the 1700s and 1800s.