Chief Justice Timothy Sullivan of Topsfield has been reappointed to a second five-year term as head of the Housing Court, which is embroiled in ongoing talks over ways to stop a flood of evictions when a pandemic-related moratorium expires on Oct. 17.
Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey on Wednesday announced Sullivan's reappointment and court officials pointed to the six-division court's expansion to 84 communities and its transition to virtual operations during the pandemic.
Carey praised Sullivan's philosophy of "open communication, collaboration and team building." She added, "He has worked hard to roll out the expansion of the Housing Court and e-Filing initiatives. He has strongly led the Court in response to the eviction moratorium. I am confident his hard work will ensure balance and fairness, as we all address this crisis and push to preserve tenancies, if possible."
Said Sullivan: "We recognize the significant challenges that the pandemic has created for tenants and landlords and will work closely with communities across the state to develop workable solutions wherever possible."
A statutory moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, enacted in response to the economic hardship caused by pandemic-related business closures, is due to expire on Saturday, Oct. 17 but talks involving judiciary leaders, lawmakers and the Baker administration are continuing on potential solutions.
A graduate of Merrimack College and New England Law School, Sullivan ran a general law practice in Newburyport focused on landlord-tenant matters before his 2004 appointment to the bench, where he served as a housing judge in the Worcester division and as first justice in the Northeast Division.
Sullivan and Trial Court Administrator Jonathan Williams reappointed Benjamin Adeyinka as deputy court administrator for the Housing Court Department.