District Court Judge Jennifer Miller Green, a longtime advocate for victims of domestic violence, died Friday. She was 53.
After graduating from the UNC School of Law, Green embarked on a career in domestic and family law. A native of Roanoke Rapids, she ran for the Wake County District Court bench in 2000 and won.
Colleagues described her as soft-spoken, hardworking and upbeat, even as she struggled with health issues in recent years. Green was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a teenager and faced down a number of health issues throughout her life. She was in hospice care before her death.
She took a particular interest in domestic violence cases, a thorny, often neglected and at times wrenching area of the law.
“She worked tirelessly in our domestic violence courts and brought through some innovations that made the courts more efficient and more effective,” said former District Attorney C. Colon Willoughby. “It’s not a court that everyone wants to volunteer for, with all the difficult cases.”
Making courts work
Courts can be a bewildering landscape for domestic violence victims: Restraining orders are sought in civil court, while offenders are prosecuted in criminal court. The two systems do not have a history of communicating well with each other.
“It could be overwhelming to victims, in criminal court one week and in civil the next,” Willoughby said. “She was very sensitive to that and was dedicated to making them work together.”
In October, Green attended the opening of the domestic violence unit at the new courthouse.
The family has asked that donations be made to Interact of Raleigh, which serves victims of domestic violence.
She is survived by her husband, Mark La Mantia; her son, Cameron Green, and a stepdaughter, Elyse Hope; her mother, Barbara Miller; and her sister, Cheryl Piner, and her husband, J.E. Piner.
Arrangements are being handled by Renaissance Funeral Home, and a date for services has not been set.