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Judicial circuit could split

The Griffin Judicial Circuit ‘“ which includes Pike County criminal and civil cases ‘“ could see some changes if Fayette County is successful in leaving the circuit to form its own. Pike leaders and those from Upson, Spalding and Fayette counties met recently with district attorney Scott Ballard to discuss splitting up the district. The proposal would allow Fayette County to have its own judicial circuit with Pike, Upson and Spalding counties remaining in the Griffin circuit. According to Spalding commissioner Raymond Ray, the split would require another judge. In the current circuit there are four judges. If the proposed Fayette circuit becomes reality there would be two judges for Fayette County and three judges to serve Pike, Spalding and Upson counties. Georgia has 159 counties but only 49 judicial circuits. According to Ballard the creation of a new circuit would be determined by state legislature. Potential changes in financial contributions from Pike and other counties are still being investigated. Each year, each county pays part of the costs associated with running the circuit, based on the county’s population and previous year’s caseload.

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