Boy Scouts from Somers are lining up to come to Justice Court these days, but they don’t have to stand before either judge and hear of any misdeeds.
The boys from Troop 376 are coming each week to help the court operate smoothly and efficiently. Court meets at Somers Town Hall with the clerk’s desk and chambers for justices Michael McDermott and Denis J. Timone in different spaces. The volunteers, two or three each week, are basically “runners.” They shuttle paperwork between the court clerk and the judges in the courtroom, which has a set-up that puts the court clerk up some stairs and around the hall from the courtroom itself.
“I saw a real need in my court to have someone to assist us,” said McDermott, whose son is a scout and who helped set up the program.
“We just don’t have the trappings of a normal court. We need files from another room and then the clerk needs to have the paperwork to take the money from the defendants,” McDermott said.
More than 20 scouts have rotated to help at Traffic and Vehicle Court and Criminal Court in Somers during 2010.
“We are very pleased to report that each scout who appeared was neatly dressed, professional, courteous, enthusiastic and conducted himself in a manner becoming of a Boy Scout,” the justices wrote in a Dec. 6 letter to the Scoutmaster Dunstan.
Jeff Goldberg, 14, a 9th grader, said he learned a lot about how the courts function.
“It was very serious,” he said. “And I was surprised how many people were there — a full house.”
He said he doesn’t watch many court shows on television so he really didn’t have a preconceived notion of what the court should be like.
Jeff, who will get a driver’s license in a couple years, said he would be more careful to follow the rules so he doesn’t end up before a local judge and pay a hefty fine.
“I will be more cautious,” he said, adding that it is fun to help the judges but not be admonished by them.
The Boy Scouts are expected to continue this community service in 2011 and McDermott reports that they will be sharing the task with Somers Girl Scouts.