Judicial Council Actions

On May 31, 2012, the Judicial Council met for the fourth time this year in Savannah, GA.   Chief Justice George H. Carley, Supreme Court of Georgia, presided over the meeting, which was held at the International Trade and Convention Center in conjunction with the State Bar of Georgia’s Annual meeting.   


The Judicial Council (above) considered many items including budget requests, nominations to the Board of Court Reporting, new case types and time values for Judicial Workload Assessment studies, and committee reports.  Reports from the AOC Director, Georgia Legal Services Program, and the appellate and trial court councils were heard by the membership.
The Judicial Council approved three budget items:

  1. FY13 budget of $12,423,861, which passed during the 2012 legislative session;
  2. FY13 Amended budget for which there were no requests;
  3. FY14 budget enhancement requests for the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education ($30,580), the expansion of Family Law Information Centers ($60,347), and creation of an Executive Director position for the Council of Probate Court Judges ($108,320).

New Judge Year Values Adopted
Judge David Emerson, Superior Court, Douglas Judicial Circuit, presented recommendations from the Judicial Workload Assessment Committee for two new case types and corresponding values to be included in future Judicial Workload Assessment studies.   The Judicial Council voted to assign the value of 207.23 minutes for adult felony accountability court cases and 7,640.40 minutes for death penalty habeas cases in future studies to determine the critical need for additional judgeships.
Appointments to the Board of Court Reporting
Judge Lawton E. Stephens, Superior Courts, Western Judicial Circuit, reported on the Nominating Committee’s proposal to reappoint Judge Ural Glanville, Superior Court, Atlanta Judicial Circuit; Mr. Benjamin Perkins, attorney; Mr. Dennis Bull, court reporter; and Ms. Anita Moore, court reporter, to the Board of Court Reporting.  The nominations were accepted.

Court Process Server Rules Amended
Judge Louisa Abbot, Superior Court, Eastern Judicial Circuit, presented recommendations of the Certified Process Server Subcommittee for amendments to the Judicial Council Rules governing the certification of Court Process Servers. The amended rules were adopted unanimously.

Electronic Filing Steering Committee Recommended
Presiding Justice Hunstein, Supreme Court of Georgia, introduced a request from the Council of Superior Court Clerks to appoint a representative to an Electronic Filing Steering Committee.  A proposal was made to study the Clerks’ proposal and address it at the next Judicial Council meeting. The Judicial Council will create a subcommittee to study the appropriateness of a judicial steering committee for electronic filing in all courts.  The motion passed with one vote in opposition.
Special Reports
Several special reports were delivered on a wide range of topics: 

Ms. Phyllis Holmen, Executive Director, reported on the work of the Georgia Legal Services Program.  She highlighted the disparity of where lawyers work and where the poor in Georgia live. She also gave a brief explanation of how GLSP accepts cases. 

Dr. John Martin, Center for Public Policy Studies, updated the Council on the progress of its Immigration and the State Courts study in Georgia.

Mr. Bart Jackson, President-Elect, Council of Superior Court Clerks, reported the progress on the new statewide jury list and presented a sample jury order, recommended by the clerks, to cover local practice in regard to jury selection.

Judge Deborah Edwards, Juvenile Court, Houston Judicial Circuit, presented information on recent educational initiatives in Georgia that focus on improving educational outcome for juveniles who come into the court system.   On July 19 – 20, Conditioned for Success: Improving Educational Outcomes for Court- and Agency-Involved Children will be held LaGrange, GA.
New Members
The Council welcomed the following new members:
• Judge John E. Morse, Superior Court, Eastern Judicial Circuit, Administrative Judge for the 1st District.
• Judge Kelley Powell, President-Elect, Council of Probate Court Judges

Outgoing Membership
Certificates of appreciation were presented to:
• Chief Justice George H. Carley, Supreme Court of Georgia
• Judge S. Phillip Brown, First District Administrative Judge
• Judge Ronnie Joe Lane, Second District Administrative Judge
• Judge Mary E. Staley, Seventh District Administrative Judge
• Judge H. Frederick Mullis, Jr., Eighth District Administrative Judge
• Judge C. Andrew Fuller, Ninth District Administrative Judge
• Judge Lawton E. Stephens, Tenth District Administrative Judge
• Judge Larry B. Mims, Council of State Court Judges
• Judge Deborah Edwards, Council of Juvenile Court Judges
• Judge Mary Kathryn Moss, Council of Magistrate Court Judges
• Judge Rashida Oliver, Council of Municipal Court Judges
The next meeting of the Judicial Council will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 21, 2012, at the State Offices South at Tift College in Forsyth, GA.

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