Amanda Maris

Durham County District Court

Amanda is the only Jewish out LGBTQ judge in North Carolina!

Biography

Judge Maris is one of seven district court judges in Durham, North Carolina where she is a Family Court Judge and also presides in domestic violence, traffic, civil and criminal court. She was appointed to the bench in the 14th Judicial District by Gov. Roy Cooper in 2017 and retained by the voters of Durham County in 2018. She is currently up for re-election in the 2022 campaign season.

Judge Maris is a longtime community leader on issues impacting our youth and in the area of expunctions, driver’s license restoration and second chances in our court system. She was a Board Member (and President) of the Durham Co. Teen Court & Restitution Program for 10 years and has been a volunteer judge since 2007. In 2008, Judge Maris co-founded a public expunction clinic as an attorney in partnership with Legal Aid of NC and was a nominee for the NCBA Chief Justice Award in 2015 for this work. In 2018, Judge Maris was instrumental in the creation of a new court referral program called, The Durham Expunction and Restoration (DEAR) Program which dramatically increases access to expunctions, certificates of relief and driver’s license restoration and debt relief for Durham residents. She continues to lead and support the DEAR program as a Co-Chair of the Advisory Board.

Formerly, Maris practiced as an Asst. Public Defender in criminal district and superior court and juvenile delinquency court for nearly 11 years. She was the Asst. Public Defender in the first Misdemeanor Diversion Program in the state designed to assist young offenders (ages 16-21) with keeping their records clean and offering treatment and services. Judge Maris also taught legal writing at N.C. Central University’s School of Law before becoming a judge.

Prior to becoming a public defender, Maris had experience in civil litigation, family law, estate planning and was a Guardian ad Litem in Wake County. She formerly represented the Public Defender’s Office on the Durham Crime Cabinet on topics such as, a mental health court, probation reform, and gun safety and continues to value participation in local community and government endeavors designed to improve the justice system.

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