AAUW Family Court Monitoring Initiative
Chair: Ann Pinna, 462-3140, email
The Fund for Modern Courts issued a "Report on Dutchess County Family Court" in November, 2016. This report was based on monitoring by the members of Poughkeepsie AAUW, Inc. Court Watch. The award highlighted below as well as the Poughkeepsie Journal article were the results of this report. Read the complete report HERE>>
On Wednesday, December 7, 2016, the Court Watch Initiative of the Poughkeepsie Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) was recognized with the Duboff Award. The Samuel J. Duboff Memorial Award recognizes non-lawyers who make extraordinary contributions toward improving the quality of justice in New York State.
The award was presented for the work of the group in monitoring the Family Court in Dutchess County. Their observations contributed to the recent report presented by The Fund for Modern Courts, an independent, statewide court-reform organization, on the Family Court of Dutchess County. The award cited their work as an excellent example of how volunteers help promote the fair and effective administration of justice in the courts of New York State.
The award was presented at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, New York City. Poughkeepsie AAUW members Margaret Nijhuis, Ann Pinna, chair of the Court Watch Initiative, Mara Goldstone and Sandy Lash are shown receiving the award from Barry Bohrer, Chair of the Fund for Modern Courts.
Click on the picture above for the Poughkeepsie Journal's article on the Report by The Fund for Modern Courts>>
Ann Pinna, Chair Monitors: Liz Graham, Joanne Dyson,
Sandy Sherman, Flo Mondanaro
Elaine Anderson Long day but lots of questions and good information
Issues of Concern
Court monitors look for “issues of concern” which may involve demeanor in the courtroom, accommodations for special needs, victim safety, clarity of proceedings, firearms, clear delineation of items in Orders of Protection, and others.
Data Collection & Sharing of Information
Volunteer monitors fill out specially –created “Court Observation Forms” corresponding to selected issues of concern. Data from these observations forms are analyzed, and, at a mutually-agreed upon date, information is then shared with the judges, other court personnel and staff. AAUW findings are reviewed in a positive spirit of collaboration and a mutual desire to seek adjustments in key areas.
Invitation to Join the Court Watch Program
If you feel you would like to be a part of this dedicated and worthwhile program and can contribute at least one morning or afternoon per month to attend court on a consistent basis, please contact Ann Pinna at email or call her at 462-3140. Please be advised that additional training sessions, as well as meetings and peer conferencing occur periodically.
If you wish to learn more about the program, view the Court Monitoring Newsletter, or register to become a court monitor, please contact Ann Pinna.