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Circuit may get fifth judge

Griffin Judicial Circuit Chief Superior Court Judge Christopher C. Edwards recently announced that Pike, Spalding, Upson and Fayette counties have an adequate case count as determined by the state to apply for a fifth Superior Court judgeship. The circuit’s legislators are being requested to introduce a bill to add a fifth judgeship. A caseload study conducted by the State shows that the four judges of the circuit are doing the work of 5.6 judges. There were 472 cases that were part of the caseload for Pike County’s Superior Court in 2017. Chief Judge Edwards requests that, ‘the public, our legislators and county commissioners, support this historic opportunity to keep pace with the caseload.’ The Judicial Council of Georgia is set to consider approving the fifth judgeship on Aug. 8. If approved, the legislature can create the fifth judgeship in its 2019 legislative session, hopefully for an added judge to start work Jan. 1, 2020. ’Any increase in caseload have an impact on the expediency of disposing cases and access to justice for the citizenry,’ said Dr. William T. Simmons, District Court Administrator. ‘The Griffin Judicial Circuit has preliminarily met the threshold for justifying a fifth judgeship for the Circuit. The next steps will be a full vetting of the case counts in all four counties of the circuit, followed by a recommendation from the Judicial Councils, Judicial Workload Assessment Committee to the Georgia Legislature for adoption and funding.’

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