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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Governor Baker Nominates Joella E. Fortier as Clerk Magistrate of Orange District Court

Governor Baker Nominates Joella E. Fortier as Clerk Magistrate of Orange District Court

BOSTON  Today, Governor Charlie Baker nominated Joella E. Fortier to the position of Clerk Magistrate of the Orange District Court. Attorney Fortier has over seventeen years of experience in the District Court where she was an Assistant District Attorney, an Assistant Clerk Magistrate and First Assistant Clerk Magistrate until being named the Acting Clerk in Orange in January 2017.

“Attorney Fortier is a distinguished lawyer whose years of experience will allow her to continue to serve Western Massachusetts,” said Governor Baker. “I am pleased to submit her name to the Governor’s Council for their advice and consent.”

“For years, the residents of the Commonwealth have benefited from Attorney Fortier’s commitment and legal expertise,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “I am confident that, if confirmed, she will serve the judges, lawyers, and litigants in the Orange District Court well.”

The District Court hears a wide range of criminal, civil, housing, juvenile, mental health, and other types of cases. District Court criminal jurisdiction extends to all felonies punishable by a sentence up to five years, and many other specific felonies with greater potential penalties, all misdemeanors and all violations of city and town ordinances and by-laws. The District Court is located in 62 courts across the Commonwealth.

For more information about the District Court, please visit their homepage.

Judicial nominations are subject to the advice and consent of the Governor’s Council. Applicants for judicial openings are reviewed by the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) and recommended to the governor. Governor Baker established the JNC in February, 2015 pursuant to Executive Order 558, a non-partisan, non-political Commission composed of volunteers from a cross-section of the Commonwealth's diverse population to screen judicial applications. Twenty-one members were later appointed to the JNC in April 2015.

About Joella Fortier
Attorney Fortier has served in the Orange District Court for the last five years as Assistant Clerk Magistrate, First Assistant Clerk Magistrate and Acting Clerk Magistrate in the wake of former Clerk Magistrate Laurie Dornig’s retirement. Prior to her work at the Orange  District Court, Attorney Fortier worked at MassMutual Financial Group as a Disability Claim Examiner, gaining experience in medicine-emergency management and disability income claims. She spent her early legal career serving the Commonwealth as a Judicial Law Clerk in the Juvenile Court and then as an Assistant District Attorney and Attorney-In-Charge at the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, dealing with criminal offense cases such as child abuse, violent crimes, narcotics, domestic violence and motor vehicle offenses in Hampshire and Franklin Counties. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Saint Anselm College and her Juris Doctorate from Western New England College School of Law in Springfield, Massachusetts, where she later worked as an Assistant Director of Admissions. She resides in Belchertown with her family.