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Nominees Sought for Access to Justice Awards

Awards honor outstanding service to improve access in Maryland courts

(ANNAPOLIS, Md. – June 19, 2014) The Maryland Access to Justice Commission wants to honor people who help improve access to justice in Maryland’s courts. The Commission is calling for nominations for the fourth annual Maryland Access to Justice Awards, which recognize outstanding service by judges, court staff, legislators, and programs.

The Maryland Access to Justice Commission was created in 2008 to improve and expand all people’s access to Maryland’s civil justice system. The Commission is a coalition of representatives from Maryland courts, employees of the executive branch agencies, legislators, attorneys, members of social services and faith groups, and legal service providers that recommends changes to improve the ability of all Marylanders to use the courts effectively and to obtain legal help when they need it. Its primary focus is on expanding access to Maryland’s civil justice system, which includes landlord-tenant cases, small claims and debt collection, divorce, child custody issues, domestic violence and other non-criminal case types.

“Each year, Maryland’s courts handle more than two million cases,” said retired Court of Appeals Judge Irma S. Raker, chair of the Maryland Access to Justice Commission. “Our courts have a huge impact on the lives of the people of Maryland, and we want to salute those individuals who go beyond the usual call of duty to enhance the quality of justice for people who encounter barriers when they are dealing with the courts.”

The Commission is accepting nominations for five award categories for outstanding contributions to advance access to justice for low- and moderate-income Marylanders:

  • Judge of the Year Award - to an outstanding judge who exemplifies Maryland’s commitment to access to justice;
  • Judicial Branch Excellence Award - to an employee of the judicial branch for exemplary service and special contributions;
  • Outstanding Program of the Year Award - to a program or project that improves access to justice for all Marylanders;
  • Legislator of the Year Award - to an outstanding legislator who personifies Maryland’s commitment to access to justice through action and leadership; and
  • Executive Branch Award - to an outstanding initiative or individual within the Executive Branch that improves access to justice for Marylanders.

Nomination forms for each of the categories are available on the commission’s website: www.mdcourts.gov/mdatjc/pdfs/awards/mdatjcawards2014packet.pdf.

Email completed forms to mdatjcommission@mdcourts.gov, or mail to:
Maryland Access to Justice Commission
2001-F Commerce Park Drive
Annapolis, MD 21401

Nominations must be received by July 1, 2014. For more information, visit the Maryland Access to Justice Commission website, www.mdcourts.gov/mdatjc, or contact Lonni Summers, 410-260-2508.

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