Information Center to Open in Worcester Trial Court Lobby
The Trial Court Access to Justice Initiative has announced that a public information center will open at the Worcester Trial Court complex beginning Monday, October 3, 2011. Volunteers at the help desk will greet court users and assist them with navigating the courthouse, obtaining basic information for filing cases, and finding legal resources.
Judge Dina Fein, Special Advisor to the Trial Court for Access to Justice Initiatives, announced that the Information Center Task Force, under the leadership of Worcester Housing Court First Justice Diana Horan and Boston Municipal Court General Counsel Cynthia Robinson-Markey, has developed a plan to operate the help desk with the assistance of volunteers. These volunteers include staff of the court departments located at the courthouse, a retired employee, and students from Anna Maria College. SJC Senior Attorney Sandy Lundy, Deputy Advisor for the Initiative, worked closely with the Task Force in providing necessary support and back-up.
"This is an important step in enhancing the accessibility and efficiency of our courts and the judicial system," said Judge Fein. "The Task Force has done a great job of taking the lessons learned from the Brooke Courthouse Information Center, which opened a year ago, to replicate that resource in Worcester.
Judge Horan said, "We have seen great enthusiasm from court staff and the legal community, which underscores the need for this service. Student volunteers fluent in multiple languages will provide a tremendous asset to the courts and the public. In addition, assistance from the College Consortium in Worcester and a generous court retiree have brought this effort together into a wonderful resource."
The Worcester Courthouse Information Center will be located on the first floor beyond the security entrance on weekday mornings from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m.
The Interim Report on Access to Justice Initiatives in the Trial Court issued in January 2010 recommended the formation of task forces to focus on information desks, forms, self-help materials, training, and Limited Assistance Representation. The five task forces, comprised of court personnel and legal community representatives, have met regularly for over a year.
The Trial Court Access to Justice Initiative works in collaboration with the Access to Justice Commission appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court. Its mission includes guiding and coordinating resources within the Trial Court to broaden access to civil justice for all litigants, including self-represented litigants, individuals of modest means, those of limited or no English proficiency, and individuals with mental or physical disabilities.
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