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News Notice: Trial Court Establishes New Committees to Address Pandemic Impact on Courts

5/12/2020
  • Massachusetts Court System
  • Executive Office of the Trial Court

Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey and Court Administrator Jonathan S. Williams announced the formation of two new Trial Court committees aimed at addressing court system issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Focused on the major operational and budget issues facing the court system, the Trial Court COVID-19 Court Operations Committee and the Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee met last week for the first time.

“The pandemic presents us with unprecedented challenges on many fronts,” said Chief Justice Paula Carey. “We want to engage our many key stakeholders to help court leaders anticipate issues and develop policies to best serve the delivery of justice, while ensuring new personal safety precautions.”

The Trial Court COVID-19 Court Operations Committee will assess how to expand virtual operations of the courts during the pandemic, and how to gradually reopen courthouses to staff and the public, focused on the health and safety of all as restrictions are lifted.  This Committee is chaired by Trial Court Associate Court Administrator John Bello and District Court Deputy Court Administrator Philip McCue. The Committee’s work will include outreach to justice partners, including District Attorneys, the Committee for Public Counsel Services, Massachusetts Association of Defense Lawyers, Bar Associations and others.

“We need to think strategically about the use of technology as a tool to accommodate public health concerns,” said Court Administrator Jon Williams. “We can expect that the effects of the pandemic will significantly affect the court system for the foreseeable future.”

The Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee will assess budget-related issues for the current fiscal year and anticipated constraints for the next fiscal year. The Budget Advisory Committee will develop recommendations, based on consultation with stakeholders, review and analysis of relevant data, and legal considerations. Chief Justice of the District Court Paul C. Dawley will chair this Committee.

The committees will seek input from internal and external stakeholders and coordinate closely with Trial Court Chief Justices and court leaders on departmental implementation. 

Trial Court COVID-19 Court Operations Committee
Associate Court Administrator John Bello, Co-chair
District Court Deputy Court Administrator Philip McCue, Co-chair
Chief Justice of the District Court Paul Dawley
Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court John D. Casey
Superior Court Justice Michael Callan
Lowell District Court First Justice Stacey Fortes
Middlesex County Clerk of Courts Michael A. Sullivan
Essex County Probate and Family Court Register Pamela A. Casey O’Brien
Lawrence District Court Clerk Magistrate Keith McDonough
Middlesex County Juvenile Court Clerk Magistrate Elizabeth Sheehy
Land Court Recorder Deborah Patterson
Superior Court Deputy Court Administrator Elaina Quinn
Boston Municipal Court Deputy Court Administrator Cheryl Sibley
Housing Court Deputy Court Administrator Ben Adeyinka
First Deputy Commissioner of Probation Dianne Fasano
Jury Commissioner Pamela J. Wood
Chief Human Resources Officer Paul Dietl
Director of Security Jeffrey Morrow
Chief Information Officer Craig Burlingame.
 

Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee
Chief Justice of the District Court Paul C. Dawley, Chair
Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey
Court Administrator Jonathan S. Williams
Chief Justice of the Superior Court Judith Fabricant
Chief Justice of the Housing Court Timothy Sullivan
Commissioner of Probation Edward J. Dolan
Middlesex Superior Clerk of Courts Michael A. Sullivan
Essex County Probate and Family Court Register Pamela A. Casey O’Brien
Boston Municipal Court Central Division Clerk Magistrate Daniel J. Hogan
Juvenile Court Deputy Court Administrator Thomas Capasso
Land Court Deputy Court Administrator Jill Ziter
Probate and Family Court Associate Deputy Court Administrator Domenic DiCenso
Chief Financial Officer Marcel Vernon
SJC Chief Fiscal Officer Robert Burns
Chief Human Resources Officer Paul Dietl
Assistant Chief Human Resources Officer for Labor Relations James McDonagh

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Massachusetts Court System 

The Massachusetts court system consists of the Supreme Judicial Court, the Appeals Court, the Executive Office of the Trial Court, the 7 Trial Court departments, the Massachusetts Probation Service, and the Office of Jury Commissioner.

Executive Office of the Trial Court 

The Executive Office of the Trial Court facilitates communication and enables joint leadership of the Trial Court by the Chief Justice of the Trial Court and the Court Administrator.
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