Learn more about the roles and responsibilites of a J.A.
If you ask how to schedule a hearing, the answer will probably be, "Call the JA." But what in the heck is a JA? A JA is a judicial assistant. Every judge, magistrate, and hearing officer has a judicial assistant. JA's are a very important part of the judicial system. One of their most important duties is managing the judge's calendar. So if you want to schedule a hearing with a judge, magistrate, or hearing officer, you have to contact the JA.
Most of the JA's in our area prefer to be contacted by email. To find the email addresses for the JA's in the Second Judicial Circuit, you can look on the Second Judicial Circuit website or you can click these links to go to the judicial directories:
If you want to get help from anyone in the judicial system (or anywhere else for that matter), it's always a good idea to be respectful and courteous. But it is especially important to be respectful and courteous to JA's because they communicate directly with the judges. You should address them respectfully, such as Dear "Mr. Assistant" or Dear "Ms. Assistant." If you can't tell whether to use "Mr." or "Ms." then use the first and last names: "Dear Jennifer LaVia."
Also be respectful of their schedules. They are very busy, managing large caseloads and responding to lots of emails sent to their judges. So you might not receive a response the same day or even the next day. If a few days have passed with no response, it's a good idea to send a reminder, something like, "Good morning, I'm just following up on the email below."
Because JA's represent their judges, you must remember that anything you send to them must also be sent to the opposing party in your case. You're not allowed to talk to the judge unless the other party knows about it, and the same goes for talking to the JA.
Also remember that JA's are not allowed to give you legal advice. Although most of them are not lawyers, they do know an awful lot about the law, yet they must follow strict rules and avoid giving legal advice. They're not trying to make things more difficult for you and really do want to help!