Juneteenth

Essex County Surrogate's Court will close at 3:00PM on Thursday, June 20, and remain closed on Friday, June 21, in observance of Juneteenth. We will resume regular operating hours on Monday, June 24.

Impact

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.

Highlights

Essex County Residents Served

Essex County Surrogate’s Court had a busy 2022. We continued our efforts to educate the public on the breadth of services our office provides through various events, media coverage, videos, and more, ensuring that we provide 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 2022, the revenue generated from our services covered 92% 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.