Citizen Court Monitoring & the Fund for Modern Courts
Did you know that most trials are open to the public? That instead of watching Law and Order SVU, you could go down to the local courthouse and sit in on arraignments and hearings? As long as you are not disruptive, every citizen has access to the proceedings of the law. The majority of people do not know this, however, and the first time they interact with the court is either when they have an issue they bring to it, or when they are called for jury duty.
The Fund for Modern Courts began a Citizen Court Monitoring program in 1975 in order to create a constituency of citizens who understand the problems facing the court system and who support efforts to assist the courts to function more efficiently and effectively.
A little more about the organization:
The Fund for Modern Courts is an independent, statewide court reform organization committed to improving the judicial system for all New Yorkers. The Fund for Modern Courts was founded in 1955 by concerned citizens, prominent lawyers, and business leaders. Modern Courts strives to improve the administration and quality of justice in our courts. By building relationships with legal service and advocacy organizations, community members, bar associations and state and local governments, Modern Courts works with those who want to ensure an independent, diverse and highly qualified judiciary and provide equal access to justice for all New Yorkers.
If you are interested in volunteering as a citizen court monitor, sign up here.