The Springfield Court Service Center held an open house last month to feature its services and programs, and to celebrate its official opening in January 2016. Along with community partners, court leaders, judges, and staff from the Hampden County Hall of Justice, those attending the event included Representatives Jose Tosado and Carlos Gonzalez, and Senators James Welch and Eric Lesser.
Court Administrator Harry Spence praised the efforts of the local community and Trial Court justices and staff who worked together to bring the Court Service Center to Springfield. "The Court Service Centers help strengthen the fabric of the communities they serve," he said. "Probate and Family Court struggles can be particularly stressful and bitter. What we're finding is that the Court Service Centers have contributed significantly to courthouse security. That's because litigants can learn about the court process at the Court Service Centers. Litigants leave the centers with a better understanding of their role in court, which increases the sense of calm and stability during courtroom proceedings."
Since opening in Boston and Greenfield in 2014, Court Service Centers have helped more than 25,000 people get the help they need to navigate the court system.
In addition to Springfield, Court Service Centers are open at four courthouses: Edward W. Brooke Courthouse in Boston; Franklin County Courthouse in Greenfield; Fenton Judicial Center in Lawrence; and the Worcester Trial Court Complex. An additional Court Service Center is slated to open this year at the Brockton Trial Court Complex. The Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association recently presented the Trial Court with the Yvette C. Mendez Award for the Court Service Centers' role in increasing access to justice for self-represented litigants.