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DIY Forms


DIY Star Award Recipient
February 2015


  

Lance B. Harris, Senior Court Clerk, Kings County Supreme Court

The Lance Harris Fan Club
L to R: Sandra Bell, Agnes Cheng, Suzanne Marsh, Lance Harris, Robert Dellevas, Shelly Hammerstone, and Nicole Lewis

Help Center Senior Court Clerk Lance B. Harris received the New York State Courts Access to Justice Program’s DIY Star Award on February 25, 2015, at a lovely ceremony held at the Kings County Supreme Court. NYS Courts Access to Justice Program Director Justice Fern A. Fisher, Kings County Supreme Court Administrative Judge for Civil Matters Lawrence Knipel, NYS Courts Access to Justice Program Chief Counsel Rochelle Klempner and Kings County Supreme Court Chief Clerk Civil Term Charles Small all spoke about the stellar assistance that Lance Harris provides in Kings County Help Center to unrepresented litigants using the Uncontested Divorce DIY Form program.

DIY Star Awards are presented to individuals who are critical in creating lasting change in court culture and work environment. Winners are chosen based on NYS Courts Access to Justice Program usage statistics. Submitted nominations are welcome. Lance Harris was nominated by his wife Wanda Harris, who is an Associate Court Clerk in the Queens County Supreme Court. Wanda stated that Lance goes above and beyond to serve and educate the litigants on the DIY Form program. She noted the degree of stress associated with working in the Help Center and said that over the past four years Lance has always managed to give his best to the public in all aspects of his job. Lance was chosen to receive the DIY Star Award because of his valuable contribution over the past year and a half to the development, implementation and promotion of the Uncontested Divorce DIY Form program. His efforts have furthered equal access to justice for unrepresented litigants both in Kings County and the rest of the state.

Lance and Wanda Harris
Wanda and Lance Harris

In 2013, the Uncontested Divorce DIY Form Program was successfully piloted in the Kings County Supreme Court. Court Clerk Specialist John Yackel, Court Attorney Stephen Rossini, Chief Court Attorney John Fiumara, and Lance shared their expertise during the development of the pilot program. Lance provided valuable feedback on the program as well as feedback from Help Center litigants he assisted which contributed to the development of the program. He tested early prototypes of the program and found logic errors. He identified screens in the program that needed to be edited because litigants were confused. His feedback led to program improvements. Lance’s efforts contributed to the successful statewide release of the Uncontested Divorce DIY Form program in April 2014.

After the release, Lance and the attorneys who rotate in and out of the Help Center (Janice Purvis, Marchello Romanelli, Marlene Schwartz and Kwaku Agyeman) continued to promote the program’s usage. Lance demonstrated outstanding customer service by guiding Help Center unrepresented litigants to one of the three DIY Form program terminals and patiently assisting them with questions. Lance furthered the assessment and review of the DIY program by returning 159 User Surveys filled out by litigants. Many of the comments in these User Surveys call attention to the high level of support he provided litigants in need. A sampling of these comments is set forth below.

After hearing several speeches extolling his praises, Lance took the podium and expressed his appreciation for the nomination, the DIY Star Award, and the Uncontested DIY Form program. Lance stated, “With divorce being a difficult and trying time in and of itself, DIY gives us a chance to hear more cheers and see less tears as we help people help themselves when doing divorce business in our courts.” Lance accepted his award amidst rousing applause and cheers from his co-workers, many of whom waved home-made “Lance” banners in his honor. Following the ceremony, a reception sponsored by the Kings County Supreme Court was held to celebrate Lance’s achievement.

Lance Harris
Lance Harris, DIY Star!




View the photo gallery of the awards presentation.




Read a sampling of litigants' survey comments about their DIY experience in the Kings County Supreme Court

"The gentlemen from the court who helped was wonderful." - Divorce Part A: Starting Program, January 15, 2015.

"More workers like Mr. Harris." - Divorce Part A: Starting Program, January 14, 2015.

"Everything was excellent." - Divorce Part A: Starting Program, January 14, 2015.

"DIY was very clear, anything I wasn't aware of I asked the employees and they were quite helpful. Overall good experience. " - Divorce Part B: Calendaring Program, January 1, 2015.

"It was a great experience. Thanks for doing this. " - Divorce Part A: Starting Program, December 18, 2014.

"Mr. Harris was very helpful; - Divorce Part A: Starting Program, December 16, 2015.

"Great Assistance." - Kings County Supreme Court Divorce Part B: Calendaring Program, November 12, 2014.

"Keep up the good work; - Divorce Part B: Calendaring Program, October 14, 2014.

"Very nice, helpful." - Divorce Part A: Starting Program, November 9, 2014

"The court employees were very helpful.." - Divorce Part B: Calendaring Program, July 14, 2014.

"Saved me a lot of time." - Divorce Part A: Starting Program, July 22, 2014.

"Very fast and informative." - Divorce Part B: Calendaring Program, July 22, 2014.

"Refer as many people to this service, saves time also propose internet survey ." - Divorce Part A: Starting Program, July 17, 2014.

"Everything was easy and clear." - Divorce Part A: Starting Program, July 2, 2014.

"Great Staff they were very helpful." - Divorce Part B: Calendaring Program, June 26, 2014.

"The program helped me a lot." - Divorce Part A: Starting Program, June 19, 2014.

"The personnel that work within the office are very helpful and provide clear information and direct instructions based on rules and regulation. " - Divorce Part A: Starting Program, June 10, 2014.

"Very much, the officers were very knowledgable ." - Divorce Part B: Calendaring Program, June 3, 2014.

"The program saves a lot of time and makes process easier." - Divorce Part A: Starting Program, May 28, 2014.

"I was very happy using this program." - Divorce Part B: Calendaring Program, May 28, 2014.

"Great program." - Divorce Part B: Calendaring Program, May 8, 2014.

"The clerk was very helpful and made a world of difference." - Divorce Part B: Calendaring Program, April 22, 2014.

"Thank you and keep up the good work!" - Divorce Part A: Starting Program, April 9, 2014.

"Very informative and helpful ." - Divorce Part A: Starting Program, April 4, 2014.

"Pretty good for me, time saver and time is money." - Divorce Part A: Starting Program, March 6, 2014.

"Court employee was really helpful." - Divorce Part B: Calendaring Program, March 5, 2014.

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