Meet the Quincy District Court
Mark Coven, First Justice
Honorable Mark Coven has been the First Justice of the Quincy District Court since October 2000. He was appointed as the associate justice of the Somerville District Court in 1989, and prior to that served as Deputy Attorney General in the Executive Office of Human Services, and worked as a legal services attorney.
What do you see as the role of a district court judge?
Why did you agree to have your court host OpenCourt? What are your hopes for the project?
What are your fears for the project?
Diane Moriarty, Justice
Judge Diane Moriarty was appointed as a judge in 1998 and soon took over the Drug Court in the Dorchester District Court. She came to to Quincy District Court in 2000 and launched the Drug Court the following year. Before becoming a judge, she worked as a defense lawyer.
Heroin and opiate abuse is a growing problem on the South Shore of Boston. The Drug Court is part of a national program that provides court-supervised drug rehabilitation for nonviolent offenders instead of sending them to jail. It requires them to attend regular meetings before the judge, submit to frequent drug testing, attend Alcoholic Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and enter daily counseling. If they violate the terms, they are sent to jail for a short period, but if if this happens repeatedly, they are expelled from the program and must serve out their original sentence.
Defendants who are sentenced to Drug Court come on a rolling basis and stay in the program for 18 months, segueing from strict residential treatment programs with curfews to sober houses to complete freedom. OpenCourt will be live-streaming the Drug Court on Thursday afternoons and we will see defendants in all stages of the process. About two-thirds of the defendants make it through the entire program.
What are people like when they arrive at the Drug Court? Then what happens?
Please talk about the strict rules of the Drug Court and how you motivate the defendants.
What will we see every week during Drug Court? What kinds of emotional and psychological problems emerge during the course of the treatment?
Mary Orfanello, Justice
Judge Mary Orfanello was appointed to be a judge in 1999 and was posted to Quincy District Court more than two years ago. Before becoming a judge, she worked as an attorney in the D.A’s office of Suffolk County for 13 years, and was in private practice.
What was the hardest part of becoming a judge?
Can OpenCourt compete with Law and Order?
In what cases will you shut the live-stream off?
Arthur Tobin, Clerk Magistrate
Arthur Tobin has worked at the Quincy District Court for 28 years. In his 45 years in public service he has, in addition to serving as Clerk Magistrate, been a state legislator, the mayor of Quincy, the President of the Quincy City Council and the Chairman of the Quincy School Committee.
What is an average day at the Quincy District Court like?
What role does the court try to play in citizens’ lives?
How has the technology changed since you started working here in 1983?
Richie Saitta, Assistant Clerk
Richie Saitta has worked as a clerk in the Quincy District Court since 1985. He is the main clerk in the First Session, which handles a high volume of arraignments every day.
What are arraignments and how do they fit in with the path a defendant takes through the court?
Do you have a work philosophy?
Do you think the project is going to change how people in the court act or how the court is run?
Jay Brennan, Head of Probation Department
Jay Brennan has been the Acting Chief Probation Officer since March 2009. Before coming to Quincy District Court, he supervised the Probation Departments of Suffolk County Community Corrections and Quincy Community Corrections, as well as spending 22 years as a probation officer in Dedham District Court.
What do you see as the purpose of probation?
Please tell us about the Fatherhood program you run at the court.
How do you think OpenCourt will affect the operations of the Probation department?
Jeanmarie Turley, Head of Court Officers
Jeanmarie Turley has been a court officer for 23 years, first in the Brockton Superior Court and the Brockton District Court. She came to the Quincy District Court more than 15 years ago.
What’s a regular day like for the court officers?
How do you handle violent custodies, and is it particularly hard as a woman?