Somerset , Hunterdon, Warren Counties Ombudsman
Vicinage 13-Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren Counties
Somerset County Courthouse
40 North Bridge Street
Somerville, New Jersey 08876
Email: Send us email
Origin and Definition:
The term Ombudsman has its origin in Sweden. It means representative and it is a gender neutral term. The Black’s Law Dictionary defines it as: "an official or semi official office or person to which people may come with grievances connected with government. The Supreme Court of New Jersey mandated the establishment of an Ombudsman program for the Judiciary.
To promote an environment of continuous improvement in areas of customer service and equal court access in compliance with court policies and procedures by establishing effective mechanisms for:
- Public Information
- Community Relations
- Court User Assistance
The Ombudsman works with all parts of the trial court to provide the public with information, including publications and forms related to court services, processes, and programs. This ensures that the court provides its customers with information in an attempt to prevent misunderstandings before they occur.
The Ombudsman reviews signage, bulletin boards, lobby information booths, web pages, publications, and materials for self represented litigants and linguistic minorities.
The Ombudsman provides training and information on Judiciary policies, procedures, public information and customer service. The Ombudsman works with media contacts to provide information about services and to educate the public about the court system.
The Ombudsman is responsible for community outreach efforts that familiarize the public with the court system to promote an environment of public trust and support. The Ombudsman initiates, coordinates and participates in Court Tours, Speakers Bureau, Law Day, training programs and other special events.
Court User Assistance:
- Confidentially receives and documents complaints from the public related to misunderstandings, conflicts, and customer service issues in the courthouse. The Ombudsman reviews facts and provides recommendations to improve existing services and develop new ones.
- Upon receiving this information, makes appropriate inquiries to help resolve conflicts between the public and the courts. The Ombudsman provides information related to established legal system complaint and disciplinary procedures.
- Responds to inquiries related to court processes, court services and referrals to other agencies of government.
- Collects and reviews customer satisfaction surveys.