What are you expecting when the courts reopen? 
I expect we’ll see a new way of doing things. The number of people in the courthouses and courtrooms will be limited, and we’ll see more court activity taking place by phone and video. We’ll be learning new ways of doing our old jobs. 
What are you most concerned about? 
I’m worried about the many people who’ve suffered serious financial consequences from the pandemic. When the courts re-open we’ll see more individuals and families facing homelessness and housing instability. I’m concerned that many people will be left without safe and secure housing, and that can have all kinds of collateral consequences for families. 
What should clients be prepared for? 
We’ll all have to prepare to be patient with each other and with the courts as we figure out a new “normal”. There are lots of changes coming, and we’ll all be figuring them out together. 
How is your team preparing? 
We’re preparing by making sure we’ve cleared the decks so we’re ready to take on lots of new cases. We know there will be many evictions and small claims cases filed in the next few months. We’re trying to get ourselves ready to help as many people as possible.   
What are the biggest challenges you expect to see?  
One of the biggest challenges is making sure that low-income clients still have meaningful access to the court process as the courts explore ways to keep people safe by moving towards telephonic and video court proceedings. We want to make sure equal access to justice is afforded to everyone, and that no one loses out on the ability to participate because of their income, age, disability, or limited English proficiency.  
In the Bangor area, what do you expect that might be unique compared to elsewhere? 
The court will be rolling out electronic filing for the Bangor region in October. In addition to all the pandemic challenges, we’ll soon be looking at an entirely new system for filing and managing our cases as well. There will be lots to learn!