Professional ​Summary​​

  • Judge Maris assumed the bench in August 2017 after being commissioned in July by Gov. Roy Cooper. She spends two weeks a month presiding as a family court judge and rotates through several other district court courtrooms the rest of the month. She recently developed a program to expand expunction opportunities in Durham as a convening party bringing many government, court and community partners together for this effort (learn more at The DEAR Program website).

  • Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Maris was an Assistant Public Defender for nearly 11 years in criminal and domestic violence court, probation and traffic court. She also represented juveniles in juvenile delinquency court at the beginning and end of her career in the Public Defender's Office.

  • Judge Maris has prior legal experience in family law, estate planning and civil law. Maris was a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for two years, a family law research assistant, and an adjunct professor of legal writing at N.C. Central University School of Law.

  • Judge Maris is on the boards of community organizations supporting our youth and students, was a past chair of the Education Team in the Durham People's Alliance, and she was the Assistant Public Defender in the first Misdemeanor Diversion Program in the state for youth ages 16-21.

  • Judge Maris was a representative to the Durham Crime Cabinet for the Public Defender's Office for 8 years meeting regularly with our local elected officials on issues impacting the justice system, and after becoming a judge, she chaired a Task Force designed to evaluate court fines and fees and the impact they have on low-income members of our community.

  • In 2008, Judge Maris helped found a public expunction clinic in Durham and was nominated in 2014 for the NCBA Chief Justice Award for this work.

Professional Associations, Boards & Committees 
  • 14th Judicial District Bar

  • N.C. Advocates for Justice 

  • N.C. Association of Women Attorneys (locally, DOWA)

  • Durham County Bar Association 

  • Durham Crime Cabinet (Court Fees & Fines Task Force, Chair)

  • Rebound - Alternatives for Youth, Board member

  • Youth Committee, Judea Reform Synagogue

  • Durham County Teen Court & Restitution Program, Past Board Chair & Member, Volunteer Judge of Teen Court


North Carolina Central University School of Law 

Juris Doctor (May 2006)


  •    Law Journal, published member 

  •    Family Law Research Assistant       

  •    Civil Litigation Clinic

  •    Environmental Law Society (President, VP)​

Whittier Law School, International Human Rights Program, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Law Program (Summer 2005)


  •    CALI Excellence for the Future Award, highest grade, AIDS & International Law​

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Bachelor of Arts (May 2000)


  •    Dean's List ('97/'99)

  •    Sophomore Honors Program

  •    B-GLAD Co-Chair

Smith College, Northampton MA

Freshman Year (August 1996 - May 1997)

  •    Dean's List