Date: May 28, 2002 Contact: Laura Kiernan
Court Information Officer
271-2646 x359



Sullivan County Probate Deputy Receives Spirit of the Judiciary Award


CONCORD—Sullivan County deputy register of probate Terrena L. O’Connor, who has worked for the court system since 1983, will receive a Spirit of the Judiciary Award from Chief Justice David A. Brock on May 30th in Newport.

The Spirit of the Judiciary Award program, which began in January 2000, was established by Chief Justice Brock to recognize employees from around the state whose work for the court system exemplifies outstanding public service. O’Connor, who was commended for her quiet, but devoted, attention to her responsibilities, is this year’s recipient from the Sullivan and Cheshire County area.

Probate Court Judge Michael R. Feeney, who has known O’ Connor since she began working for the court 19 years ago, said she is "fast, efficient and detail oriented." O’Connor gets an assignment completed before anyone has to ask about it, Feeney said.

"She’s very quiet, but then suddenly you look around and you realize that everything you have given her has been taken care of," Feeney said. "She has the spirit that this award is intended to honor," he added.

O’Connor said she enjoys both the day-to-day activity in the Newport courthouse and the challenge of working with rules and procedures that are subject to change. The Supreme Court last year temporarily approved new probate court rules designed to update and standardize probate court procedures.

"There is always a new law or new rule and they expand," O’Connor said, "It’s almost like getting a new job all the time. You can stay in the position you have for a long time and not get bored."

Other changes that have occurred while O’Connor has been deputy register include opening a new facility for the probate court and installation of a computer system.

The probate court has jurisdiction over wills and estates, guardianships of minors and incapacitated adults and oversees partition of real estate and adoptions.

O’Connor said she was surprised and honored to receive the award. "To be recognized certainly makes everything worthwhile," O’Connor said about her many years of service to the court system.

The ceremony for O’ Connor will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the Sullivan County Probate Court, 314 Main Street, Newport. Administrative Judge John Maher of the Probate Court will attend the event with Chief Justice Brock and Judge Feeney.