The Bergen CASA Bulletin: Summer 2023
Honorable Bonnie J. Mizdol, A.J.S.C.
Thirteen years ago, Judge Mizdol swore me in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate. During the ceremony, she explained that when she was first appointed to a Family Court docket, she knew that most judges did not regard it as an aspirational assignment or one they would keep for very long, but that she believed there was nothing more important than helping families and children – which is why she continued to review these cases. This instilled in me a tremendous sense of purpose and responsibility that still motivates me today.
Judge Mizdol’s court room was educational and inspiring; we all clapped when a child excelled in school – everyone knew that this was a triumph over circumstance – and I marveled at how caring and nurturing she could be as she chastised teenagers who were struggling and getting into trouble – urging them to do better. The judge led by example – she was totally prepared and familiar with every child on her docket. She took pains to read CASA’s reports and carefully evaluate our recommendations. And the children under her watch often asked to come to court to meet with her when their cases were being reviewed. It was clear that many of them had a special rapport with the judge.
Judge Mizdol’s retirement represented for me the end of an era, and I was saddened that she chose to leave very quietly without the opportunity for a proper goodbye or thank you.
So, it is wonderful that we now have the opportunity to honor Judge Mizdol and to thank her at our upcoming golf outing.