Saturday, January 5, 2019



Judge Hayes sworn in by his retired judge father

The swearing in was a family affair

POUGHKEEPSIE – Judge Michael Hayes was ceremonially sworn in as the new Dutchess County Surrogate's Court Judge on Friday in Poughkeepsie. 

Hayes was serving as a judge in the Town of LaGrange prior to being elected to his new position in November. He resigned his position in the town on December 31. 

The race to replace retiring Surrogate James Pagones for the 10-year term pitted Hayes against Democrat Tom Mansfield.  When the ballots were tallied, Hayes won by 1,000 votes.

The oath of office was administered by the Honorable Gerald Hayes, Dutchess County Court Judge (Ret.), the new judge’s father. The younger Hayes couldn’t be more thrilled. "I could probably spend half an hour talking about how much it means to me and it wouldn't scratch the surface.  The guy is my role model; he's my hero." 

"It's an honor for me obviously to have my son follow and be a judge," said the proud father.  The elder Hayes followed up by saying "I have a great interest in the Dutchess County judiciary and he's going to be a great addition to that."

In addition to serving as a town justice, the younger Hayes has spent the last seven years serving as law clerk to the Honorable Peter Forman, Dutchess County Court Judge.  "I'm very, very excited for him because he's going to make a great judge.  He's an even-tempered, hard-working lawyer," said Forman who added "it's going to be difficult for me to move to another law clerk."

In front of a standing-room only crowd consisting of family, friends, elected officials and a plethora of judges from all over the Hudson Valley, Hayes was joined by his wife Michelle and daughters Maggie and Sallie as he took the oath of office and received a very warm ovation.


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