For immediate release: September 11, 2013
For further information contact:
Winnie Comfort or Tammy Kendig
Michelle M. Smith has been named clerk of the Superior Court by the New Jersey Supreme Court. The appointment is effective Sept. 21. Smith succeeds Jennifer M. Perez, who recently was named chief of the Judiciary’s Automated Trial Court Systems Unit.
As clerk, Smith will oversee the Superior Court Clerk’s Office, in the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton. She will direct the administration of staff and budget resources, develop and implement plans for the efficient operation of the office, and implement court rules, policies and directives related to court processing, public access to court records, records management, and electronic filing of court cases.
Equally important, she will work closely with other clerks of court, trial judges and managers throughout the Judiciary, and partners in the executive branch to improve court operations throughout the trial courts.
The clerk also oversees the management of foreclosure cases, maintains the civil judgment and order docket in which statewide liens are recorded, oversees the Judiciary’s records management process for both electronic and paper records, and manages a customer service operation that includes a call center and a public reception area.
“Michelle Smith brings to this new role a strong record of leadership and enthusiasm for helping others,” said Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. “Her ability to manage a large staff while developing efficiencies in court processes and procedures will help the Judiciary better serve the public.”
Smith earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University in Jamaica, N.Y. and a law degree from the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in Huntington, N.Y.
She began her career as a case worker for family courts in Queens in 1997. She worked closely with families to evaluate their needs and to provide appropriate referral services. During this time, she was also certified as a family mediator. In 2005, she was named director of the New York City Family Court Mediation Program. In 2006, she became the associate executive director of mediation services for Community Mediation Services, Inc.
In July, 2012, Smith was named an assistant chief in the Superior Court Clerk’s Office, a position she has held until her present appointment. In that role she has day-to-day responsibility for the foreclosure and judgment court processing services. She has played a critical role in streamlining workflow to address an influx of foreclosure cases.
“I have really enjoyed my work in the clerk’s office and I am honored and excited to be given this new opportunity,” said Smith.