New York Courts dot gov
New York StateUnified Court System

DIY Forms


DIY Star Award Recipient
March 2011


 Queens County Family Court Help Center

 Nicole Coleman, Court Assistant


DIY Stars!

(L-R) Priscilla Williamson, Principal Court Clerk, Nicole Coleman, Court Assistant, Judith LaRose, Assistant Deputy Chief Clerk, Michelle Durant, Court Assistant
and Alison Thompson, Court Assistant.


Court Assistant Nicole Coleman and the Queens County Help Center Staff received the New York State Courts Access to Justice Program's DIY Star Award on March 16, 2011, at a ceremony held at the Queens County Family Court.

NYS Courts Access to Justice Program Director Judge Fern A. Fisher, Administrative Judge for the NYC Family Court Edwina G. Richardson-Mendelson, Deputy Chief Clerk for the NYC Family Court George Cafasso, Supervising Judge of Queens County Family Court Carol Stokinger, Queens County Clerk of the Court Vaunda Harris-Strachan, and NYS Courts Access to Justice Program Chief Counsel Rochelle Klempner, all spoke with stellar praise for the recipients and their extraordinary team effort to promote the DIY Form programs in Queens, furthering equal access to justice for unrepresented litigants.

The Queens County Family Court Help Center staff (which includes Assistant Deputy Chief Clerk Judith LaRose (DIY Supervisor), Principal Court Clerk Priscilla Williamson (back-up DIY Supervisor), Nicole Coleman, Danielle Gadson, Michelle Durant and Alison Thompson) are DIY stars because of their dedication to assisting unrepresented litigants with the Family Court DIY Form programs.

In the last six months of 2010, 798 Support Modification Petition User Surveys and 218 Paternity Petition User Surveys were returned to the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program from litigants using the programs in Queens County! The User Surveys indicate that the majority of the DIY Form programs were completed in the Queens Family Court with the assistance of Court Help Center staff. The survey comments clearly show the great care and assistance that the Help Center staff, under the direction of Assistant Deputy Chief Clerk Judy LaRose, have been providing. A sample of the User Survey comments can be read below.

The survey comments written by the unrepresented litigants also repeatedly singled out Court Assistant Nicole Coleman for her patience, assistance, friendliness and professionalism. Ms. Coleman was awarded her own DIY Star Award due to the overwhelming appreciative litigant feedback for her services.

Nicole Coleman and Judge Fern Fisher

Nicole Coleman and Judge Fern Fisher


The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program also acknowledged Judy LaRose for her role in the Queen’s Family Court’s tremendous improvement in DIY Form service to the unrepresented public, and thanked Judy for her valuable contribution testing prototypes and providing feedback during the development of the DIY Family Court programs. Supervising Judge Stokinger and Clerk of the Court Vaunda Harris-Strachan were praised for their stewardship and their Court's accomplishment.

The award presentation included a delicious home-baked reception graciously catered by Family Court staff. A big thank you to Judge Stokinger and Marie Geneva-Frank for their coffeecakes, Rena Gottfried for her whoopie pies and banana-nut cookies, Emily Martinez for her cake, Liz Songen for the cookies, and most importantly to Doug Forman for making the coffee! Both Judge Fisher and Judge Richardson-Mendelson remarked on how the Queens Family Court truly works together as a "family."

(Read what Administrative Judge Richardson-Mendelson and Chief Clerk Peter Passidomo had to say about Queens County Family Court.)




View the photo gallery of the awards presentation.




Read a sampling of what litigants had to say about their DIY experience in the Queens County Family Court's Help Center

"Nicole was excellent, very helpful. The court needs more employees like Nicole" - Support Modification Program, December 20, 2010

"Court employees were extremely helpful and very pleasant." - Support Modification Program, December 10, 2010

"Great system." - Support Modification Program, December 10, 2010

"The program is user friendly and court personnel are very helpful." - Support Modification Program, December 8, 2010

"The employees were very courteous and helpful to me." - Support Modification Program, December 7, 2010

"The people were very accommodating and helpful." - Support Modification Program, December 3, 2010

"Employees were very nice and helpful. The program was very fast." - Support Modification Program, November 30, 2010

"It's very helpful and the attendant was extremely helpful" - Support Modification Program, November 30, 2010

"Nicole Coleman was friendly, patient and helpful. You need to hire more people like this woman." - Support Modification Program, November 16, 2010

"This is by far the best and fastest way to file my court papers! " - Support Modification Program, November 15, 2010

"I think having a polite employee helps a lot. Miss Nicole was polite and helpful." - Support Modification Program, November 1, 2010

"Nicole was very helpful." - Support Modification Program, November 1, 2010

"Nicole has a great personality; is very informative and professional. Great program. Quick and easy" - Support Modification Program, October 22, 2010

"The program was very helpful and easy to understand. The staff was friendly and professional." - Support Modification Program, October 22, 2010

"A very nice person helped me." - Support Modification Program, October 22, 2010

"I was pleased with the help that I have gotten today from your staff, they were truly professional."-Support Modification Program, October 19, 2010

"Process was easy, fast and employee/staff helpful and friendly" - Support Modification Program, October 19, 2010

"Ms. Nicole was very nice and explained everything I needed." - Support Modification Program, October 19, 2010

"Ms. Nicole was very nice in explaining and helping me. The service she displayed was wonderful." - Support Modification Program, October 18, 2010

"Everything went smooth and received lots of help and support from Nicole; she was extremely useful and caring." - Support Modification Program, October 18, 2010

"Nicole was extremely helpful and kind in addition to calling me quickly, which I appreciated." - Support Modification Program, October 14, 2010

"Excellent help from employees. 5 star service." - Support Modification Program, October 13, 2010

"The staff were all great, too good to be true. I'm used to the old way of no help and bad people. Your improvements are fantastic. Everywhere else should lead by these people's example." - Paternity Program, October 7, 2010

"Court employees were extremely courteous, polite and helpful." - Support Modification Program, October 6, 2010

"Nicole is a nice helper! Thank you very much." - Support Modification Program, October 6, 2010

"The court clerk was very nice." - Paternity Program, October 6, 2010

"Very helpful, friendly and informative staff." - Support Modification Program, October 6, 2010

"Very efficient employees." - Support Modification Program, October 4, 2010

"The system is excellent and the assistance received was helpful and informative." - Support Modification Program, September 29, 2010

"Very satisfied. Fast, did not have to wait forever. Way to go!" - Support Modification Program, September 16, 2010

"Nicole was very helpful and made my petition very easy to understand." - Support Modification Program, September 13, 2010

"Everyone at the Queens County Court office were very helpful and very knowledgeable." - Paternity Program, August 23, 2010

"It was a great experience because I have no knowledge about computers." - Support Modification Program, August 12, 2010

"Excellent and very attentive." - Support Modification Program, August 9, 2010

"The court clerks were very helpful and polite. I have a clear understanding of what is going on with my case." - Support Modification Program, August 5, 2010

"Very helpful employees." - Paternity Program, August 4, 2010

back to top