News from the courts/agencies

Thursday, May. 19, 2016
Trial Court announces opening of fifth Court Service Center; Three chief probation officers appointed by Probation Commissioner
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Trial Court announces opening of fifth Court Service Center

The Trial Court announced this week that Court Service Centers are now operating in five courthouses across the state. The Trial Court's hope is to locate one Court Service Center in each of the state's 15 largest courthouses. The Court Service Centers are a key part of the Trial Court's mission to help people who are representing themselves in court to access the court system.

Court Service Centers provide resources to help members of the public and self-represented litigants navigate the court system. It is estimated that civil legal aid programs in Massachusetts turn away more than 60 percent of indigent clients who are eligible for civil legal aid and are seeking services due to a lack of adequate funding. Court Service Centers are one way that the court system is working to provide equal access to those who do not have attorneys. Earlier this month, the National Center for Access to Justice released its 2016 Justice Index, measuring how all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico ensure equal justice for all. The Massachusetts court system ranked second in the nation overall, behind only the District of Columbia, and was ranked second in services for people without lawyers, due to the expansion of Court Service Centers across the state.

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Three chief probation officers appointed by Probation Commissioner

New chief probation officers have been appointed by Commissioner of Probation Edward J. Dolan to serve in three separate district courts across the state: the Nantucket and Edgartown; Hingham; and Clinton District courts.

Jennifer Pease, chief probation officer at the Nantucket and Edgartown District Courts, began her new job this week. Hingham District Court Chief Probation Officer Jennifer Brady has been on the job for a month and Chief Patrick Ball of Clinton District recently marked his two month anniversary in the position. The three chiefs are among a group of 11 newly appointed chief probation officers across the state.