DIY Star Award Recipient November 2012

DIY Star Award

Star  Maureen Ball, Chief Clerk

DIY Star Awardee Maureen Ball with Michael Klein, Judge Tormey and Judge Ludington

District Executive Michael Klein, Fifth Judicial District Administrative Judge James Tormey, Fulton City Court Chief Clerk Maureen Ball and Fulton City Court Judge Spencer Ludington

Fulton City Court Chief Clerk Maureen Ball received the New York State Courts Access to Justice Program's DIY Star Award on November 1, 2012, at a ceremony held at the Fulton City Court in Oswego County, New York. Maureen is the first City Court employee in the State to earn this honor.

Fifth Judicial District Administrative Judge James Tormey, District Executive Michael Klein, Esq., and Fulton City Court Judge Spencer J. Ludington, all spoke about Maureen's outstanding efforts furthering equal access to justice for pro se landlords and tenants in New York State. A letter from NYS Courts Access to Justice Program Director Judge Fern A. Fisher praising Maureen's accomplishment was read at the ceremony. Both Judge Fisher and NYS Courts Access to Justice Program Chief Counsel Rochelle Klempner were unable to be there for the presentation of the Star Award due to Hurricane Sandy.

DIY Star Awards go to individuals who are critical in creating lasting change in court culture and work environment. Maureen Ball is a DIY Star because of her valuable contribution to the development and implementation of the landlord-tenant DIY Form programs that produce court papers for the District, City, Town and Village Courts. In 2010, Maureen took the initiative and joined the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program's Landlord Petition (outside NYC) DIY Developer's Group. Maureen provided valuable feedback on the program and City Court procedure. She also conducted litigant testing before the program was released to the public. Maureen took the initiative again in 2011, when she attended the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program's Introduction to DIY Programming course and worked on developing the front end of a landlord holdover program. Her efforts contributed to the release of the small property owner licensee and squatter holdover programs in 2012. In addition, Maureen volunteered to be our "City Court Ambassador," distributing promotional materials and updating and presenting on the DIY Form programs at the City Court Chief Clerk's annual meetings in 2011 and 2012. Her efforts, enthusiasm and contribution to furthering the DIY Form programs throughout the state are greatly appreciated.

Maureen has also furthered the DIY Form programs in her own Court. Under Chief Clerk Ball's direction, the Fulton City Court staff, which includes Jennifer Cooper, Sherri Diefenbacher, Shelly Fantom and Adolph Eckstein, has demonstrated excellent customer service to unrepresented litigants. Fulton City Court Judge Ludington describes Maureen as a "can-do lady," always able to listen and assist the litigants in need.

MaureenBall and Judge Ludington

Maureen Ball and Judge Spencer Ludington

Maureen and her staff have been guiding litigants with internet access to the CourtHelp website or directing litigants without internet access to the free terminals at the public library across the street. The Fulton City Court has had excellent usage of the DIY Form programs. In fact, in the first three quarters of 2012, 22% of small property owners filing a nonpayment case in the Fulton City Court used the DIY Form program to make their court papers. These are wonderful usage statistics for such a small court, especially in light of the fact that until now, the Fulton City Court has not had a public access terminal for unrepresented litigants to utilize. As a DIY Star winner, Maureen has earned a brand new public access terminal with a touch-screen monitor for her courthouse. Congratulations Maureen Ball and the Fulton City Court!


View the photo gallery of the awards presentation.