Special to the Times
Governor Maura T. Healey announced that she is recommending Stephanie L. Everett, Esq. for appointment as Suffolk Register of Probate and Family Court. Everett is currently the Executive Director of the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency for the City of Boston and, through her legal career, has represented families with cases before the Probate and Family Court. She would be the first Black person to serve as Suffolk Register of Probate and Family Court.
The Probate and Family Court Department handles court matters that involve families and children, such as adoption, divorce, child support, and wills. In the case of a vacancy, the Governor has the authority to appoint the Register of Probate and Family Court with the advice and counsel of the Governor’s Council to serve out the remainder of the term, which currently goes through the end of the 2024.
“The Register of Probate and Family Court has a critical role to play in supporting families and children, particularly during the most challenging moments of their lives,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Stephanie Everett is uniquely qualified to step into this position as she has interacted with the court as both a young mother and an attorney, and she has built an incredible career advocating for justice and equity for her community of Boston. I’m proud to recommend her for Suffolk Register of Probate and Family Court and believe she has the experience, professionalism, determination and empathy needed to serve the families, lawyers and staff that rely on the Court.”
“Stephanie Everett has dedicated her career to serving the people of Boston, and the Governor and I are excited for her to take her service to the next level,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “Her voice, perspective and leadership will be invaluable in shaping the future of the Probate and Family Court. We look forward to working closely with our colleagues on the Governor’s Council to advance this appointment.”
“The Probate and Family Court is largely unknown to many Massachusetts residents – until they need it. That often comes at the most painful moments of their lives, when a marriage dissolves or they have a child at a young age or they experience the death of a loved one,” said Stephanie Everett. “As someone who has experienced the Court from both sides, as a young mother and as an attorney, I’m intimately familiar with the impact it can have on people’s lives, as well as the fear, frustration and confusion that families face far too often when interacting with the Court. I’d be honored to have the opportunity to serve as Suffolk Register of Probate and Family Court and to use my experience to guide other families through the system and leverage every resource at our disposal to better ensure the future success of every person who interacts with the Court.”
In 2021, Everett was appointed the City of Boston’s first Executive Director of the newly created Office of Police Accountability and Transparency, which is responsible for investigating complaints of police misconduct and ensuring that the Boston Police Department’s internal affairs review process is fair and thorough. In this role, she oversaw a budget of $1.4 million and a staff of 11 full-time employees. As a member of Mayor Michelle Wu’s cabinet, she advised the mayor on public safety matters. Everett also successfully advocated for funding to create a yearlong internship program and youth advisory council to bridge the gap of youth access to government and strengthen relationships with law enforcement.
“Stephanie Everett is a brilliant and effective attorney and public servant who has devoted her career to serving others, particularly our most vulnerable residents,” said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. “In our years working closely together, I’ve seen firsthand Stephanie’s deep commitment to transparent and accessible government, and I know she will bring her values and her many talents to this important role. I applaud Governor Healey and her team for this nomination and urge Attorney Everett’s swift confirmation. We will miss her in our administration, but are grateful that the families of Suffolk County will be well served under her leadership.”
Prior to her work with the city, Everett was a solo law practitioner for eight years. She served as the lead counsel on jury and bench trials before Criminal and Juvenile Sessions and as a member of the Norfolk County Bar Advocate Program, accepting indigent clients facing criminal charges and families involved with the Department of Children and Families. She also served as a legal expert for various panel groups seeking to inform underserved and underrepresented communities with information about their rights and changes in law.
Everett has also served as the Chief of Staff of the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, and Manager of Public Safety for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. She is a graduate of Northeastern University and Suffolk University Law School and a member of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association.