News from the Courts

Issue May 2015

Gavin named statewide training supervisor for Mass. Probation Service

Patricia W. Gavin has been named the new statewide training supervisor for the Massachusetts Probation Service by Commissioner Edward J. Dolan.

The Massachusetts Probation Service Training Academy, located in Clinton, was the site of 269 training workshops attended by approximately 8,000 participants in the past year.

As the Statewide Training Supervisor, Gavin will develop, manage and implement a comprehensive program of training and professional development for Probation staff. She will also be responsible for creating training policies and protocols.

Prior to her appointment as training supervisor, Gavin worked as an associate professor of criminal justice and director of the Criminal Justice Department at Anna Maria College in Paxton. She served as co-director of the Molly Bish Center for the Protection of Children and the Elderly and as program supervisor for the RFK Action Corps for Children in Lancaster. Gavin is also a former adjunct professor at Fitchburg State University.

She earned a bachelor's degree in law and society and sociology from the University of California-Santa Barbara. She graduated from Northeastern University with a master's degree in criminal justice and earned a doctorate in criminal justice from Rutgers University in Newark, N.J.

Training grant to improve delivery of drug, mental health services in Franklin County

The Massachusetts Trial Court, in partnership with the Department of Public Health and the Department of Mental Health, has received a training grant that will help improve the coordination of drug and mental health services and their delivery to residents in Franklin County.

The training, provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's GAINS Center, will enable the court system and community organizations to identify available services and solutions that help individuals with mental health and substance abuse issues who are at various stages of involvement with the criminal justice system.

SJC invites public comment on a proposed new Code of Judicial Conduct

The Supreme Judicial Court's Committee to Study the Code of Judicial Conduct invites public comments on a proposed new Code of Judicial Conduct. The SJC established the committee in September 2012 and asked it to review the current Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct in light of the American Bar Association's 2007 Model Code of Judicial Conduct. The current Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct is based on the American Bar Association's 1990 Model Code. The committee is chaired by Justice Cynthia J. Cohen of the Appeals Court, and committee members are drawn from the judiciary, the bar and academia.

Visit to review the proposed code. The committee will make its recommendations to the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court following receipt and review of public comments.

Translated restraining order forms now available in eight languages

The Massachusetts Trial Court announced that forms and instructions for filing an Abuse Prevention Order, known as a restraining order, are now available in eight languages.

In addition to English, the forms are now available in the following languages: Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Khmer, Portuguese, Russian and Vietnamese. These and other translated forms are available on the Trial Court's online Language Access Portal online at

"For individuals under stress, navigating the court system can be a challenge in any language," said Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey. "The trauma that often accompanies a restraining order hearing can make it even more daunting to come to court. Translated restraining order forms will enable people with limited English proficiency to understand the forms related to their case and help them advocate for their own protection."