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Magistrate Thomas P. Hallett was named Tuesday the new family law judge in Lake Superior Court, where he will succeed his former boss, Judge Elizabeth F. Tavitas, who was appointed this summer to the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Hallett, 63, of Hobart, currently serves as magistrate in the Superior Court's Domestic Relations Division Room 3 in Gary. He was admitted in 1980 to the Indiana State Bar Association and began his legal career in private practice.

"I am very honored and humbled by the appointment," Hallett said. "I'm excited to get started." 

Gov. Eric Holcomb's office announced the appointment in an email Tuesday.

From 1982 to 1983, Hallett served as city attorney for the city of Lake Station. He was appointed Lake Station city judge in 1986 by Gov. Robert Orr after the death of Richard Burdett, a position he held until 1987.

Hallett said he also served for a number of years as a judge pro tem in Hobart City Court. 

In 1988, Hallett ran as a Republican for a seat on the Lake County Commission, but lost to incumbent Democrat Steve Corey.

Hallett has served since 2009 as a magistrate in Lake County. He said the job, which combined his passions for family law and the judiciary, was "extremely rewarding."

He earned a bachelor's degree from Notre Dame University and his law degree from Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana.

Tavitas was judge of the Superior Court's Domestic Relations Division Room 3 until July, when Holcomb appointed her to fill a vacant seat on the Indiana Court of Appeals.

In September, the Lake County Judicial Nominating Commission nominated Hallett, Magistrate Lisa A. Berdine and Magistrate Nanette K. Raduenz as possible replacements for Tavitas.

A swear-in date for Hallett has not yet been scheduled.

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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.