Honor in the court
New Legal Home Remembers A Judge Who Served His Neighbors
When court is in session in Hobart, it’s in a brand-new courtroom
As part of the continuing repurposing of the old middle school, city court now has a new home, joining the police department, city jail, the police training facility and the senior center.
The Hon. William J. Longer is the city’s judge.
“It is a dramatic improvement,” he said.
“And it’s part of an ongoing improvement to city services.”
More than five years ago, the city began planning this upgrade. Having the court in the same building as law enforcement is just one plus.,
“It’s based upon the needs assessment of the city,” said Judge Longer.
“We considered attempted modifications to the existing city hall and the overall needs. As a result if the process of doing something with the middle school building, we came up with this project.
“It is more than the facilities. We spent less.
“We ended up with more.”
He said the new high school in town started the process of the middle school refurbishing and then moving into that spot.
“That left the old middle school,” Judge Longer said.
“It was a practical matter of what we needed.”
It also allowed the city to honor Anthony Cefali, the first city court judge. He served Hobart for 28 years. The new courtroom carries his name.
The Hobart City Council made it official with a unanimous proclamation.
They cited his long years of service to the community.
Orphaned at age 8, he was raised by an older sister.
One of the personal accomplishments came at the close of World War II, when he was a witness to history.
Cefali was in the Pacific Theater as the war wound down. He was assigned to the staff of Gen. Dougas MacArthur. He served as the Japanese interpreter at the War Crimes Tribunal in occupied Japan.
After his service to his hometown, the Council issued a statement, in part which read: “The people of Hobart, by and through their elected representatives have constructed a new City Courthouse the new City Court, the new courtroom of which provides spacious, attractive accommodations for the Court and the people it serves, equipped with advanced technological features that facilitates the presenation of trials and hearings that contributes greatly to the court’s efficiency, the Common Council of the City of Hobart, being mindful of all of Judge Cefali’s service to his city and desiring to accord his memory and name all the honor to which it is due, do therefore honor Judge Cefali in this way.”
“Judge Anthony Cefali was a kind man who was possessed of an exceptional legal mind, a judicious temperament and a commitment to help people who may have fallen down in life,” said U.S. Congressman Pete Visclosky. He helped get renovation grants for the city and came to the dedication of the courtroom.
“It’s right that his life and spirit of service will continue in the new Honorable Anthony J. Cefali Courtroom,” said Rep. Visclosky.
“Visclosky has always been a good friend of the city f Hobart,” said Judge Longer.
“When he was practicing law, he had contacts with Judge Cefali in Hobart City Court.
“When he learned we were having a dedication, he was enthusiastic about coming to it.”