PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo today swore-in Rossie Lee Harris, Jr., the new Judge of the Rhode Island Family Court.
"Rossie has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to strengthening families," Raimondo said. "In his new role, I know he will continue to serve our families with compassion and integrity."
"I couldn't be prouder to join the Family Court," Harris said. "I thank Governor Raimondo for her consideration and look forward to serving."
Harris has served as a Family Court Magistrate since 2013. He has devoted his career to helping families in need, having served as legal counsel to the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF), and then as Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian Ad Litem to children in DCYF care. He is also a member of the NAACP. Harris lives in Providence and graduated from Brown University, the Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy and Boston College Law School. He will be the first person of color to serve on Family Court in Rhode Island.
Harris will replace former Judge Kathleen A. Voccola, who retired in October 2015.
"I would like to thank Judge Kathy Voccola for her 26 years of service," Raimondo said. "Well-known for her intellect and quick wit, her retirement is a big loss for those who appeared before her. I wish Judge Voccola the very best."
The Family Court has jurisdiction to hear all petitions for divorce, child support, adoptions, and matters related to delinquent, wayward, dependent, neglected, or abused juveniles. Additionally, the Court has specialty Family Treatment Drug, Juvenile Drug, Immigration, and Truancy calendars.