On the television at any given time in the afternoon, one can see cases being tried and adjudicated with no nonsense. Sometimes, in a particular case, the television judge just lays the person out and you cheer. We have been fortunate to have such a judge.
Judge Diana Maldonando of the Chelsea District Court can be described as a no nonsense judge with a reputation of being fair and compassionate, but not overly sympathetic to excuses.
Judge Maldonado grew up in the South Bronx of New York and was one of 10 children. From these humble beginnings, she rose through the legal ranks and has been at the Chelsea District Courthouse since 1998 and in 2009 was named the First Justice of the Court.
While not adhering to the 9-5 schedule, Judge Maldonado stayed longer hours outside of the courthouse and embraced our community, becoming an integral part of our societal fabric.
The Drug Court model which she has started, has been replicated all over the country, not only in district courts but also in the Federal Court system. The goal of this model is to rehabilitate the drug criminals so that they are less likely to re-offend. Today, our court has a very active and successful local alumni program.
The favorite story about Judge Maldonado involved an eviction case. The tenant was having a hard time sending payments to the landlord. The solution was that Judge Maldonando addressed the payment envelopes and put the stamps on them. The case was closed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson termed success as follows:
“… To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier, because you have lived.”
Judge Maldonado has been successful by having a very large positive impact on our community and residents.
We wish Judge Maldonado well as she starts her new position in the Appeals Court next week.