Local judge prepares to strike his gavel for the last time

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:49

    Sussex County-Five local municipalities will soon be left without a town judge. Judge David L. Jubanowsky currently resides over judicial proceedings in Stanhope, Byram, Andover Borough, Green, and Freedon. Last month, Jubanowsky announced that he would soon be retiring from all five positions in an attempt to "lessen his work load." His tenure at the municipalities will expire at the end of the year. Come January 2005, Jubanowsky will continue to only practice law as an attorney at a private firm. Jubanowsky began his Sussex County career as judge of Andover Township in 1975 at the age of 28. At the time, he was the youngest judge in the state. Having grown up in Union County, Jubanowsky made the decision to move to Sussex County and practice law here so that he could "raise a family in a good environment. When he first arrived in Sussex, there were no prosecutors or public defenders in court proceedings. Judges in the state not only presided over a trial, but also served as council. Now, the State Supreme Court requires every municipal court to have a sepa rate public defender and prosecutor. "We have a much fairer system now," said Jubanowsky. For many, Jubanowsky's departure is more than just a legal matter, for them his decision means the loss of a co-worker and friend. Lorraine Lupo who, serves as Stanhope Municipal Court Administrator, spent the last nine years working side by side with Jubanowsky. Lupo said she found him to be both fair in the courtroom, and helpful in his personal relationships with co-workers. "I've enjoyed my time working with him, and he will be greatly missed," said Lupo. After nearly 30 years of serving the county, Jubanowsky is leaving his posts with mixed emotions. "I've always had a sense of pride serving the courts," said Jubanowsky. "I'm going to miss the people that I've been working with. Over the years, there have been a number of law enforcement personnel that I've come to know and consider friends." In anticipation of his absence, Byram Township is currently looking to hire a replacement judge. Stanhope has not determined whether or not it will hire a new judge, because it has yet to decide whether or not it will begin sharing resources with Netcong. Andover Borough, Freedon, and Green will all be served together by one replacement judge. The position will need to be appointed by the governor. All three municipalities will meet at a joint municipal court meeting at the Green Township Municipal Building on Sept. 14 to discuss the issue further.