“Over the past decade, the Massachusetts court system has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of people representing themselves in court,” said Court Administrator Harry Spence. “The new Court Service Centers are a vital part of the Trial Court’s efforts to enable greater access to justice for people who have matters before the court. The centers will connect court users with the resources they need, including legal representation where appropriate and available.”
The Court Service Centers (CSCs) are the result of the combined efforts of a committee of Trial Court and community representatives, including Sue Marsh, the Executive Director of the nonprofit Rosie’s Place, which helped fund the Center at the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse in Boston.
The CSCs will offer numerous services, including general information regarding court rules, procedures and practices, work space and assistance in preparing forms and documents, neutral self-help information in multiple languages, public access computers, and access to interpreter services. The CSC will also provide contact information regarding community resources, legal assistance programs, and social service agencies.
The CSCs in Greenfield and Boston will include on-site law librarians who will provide assistance with legal research.
Court Information Desks at both locations will continue to assist the public with directions and other very basic “concierge” services, while directing members of the public to the CSC for additional information and assistance. The CSCs, located at the Franklin County Justice Center in Greenfield and the Brooke Courthouse in Boston, will coordinate their services with existing programs within each court such as Lawyer for the Day and the Volunteer Lawyers Project. The Court Service Centers will be open during regular court hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except legal holidays.