Judicial Council April 29, 2016 Actions

The Judicial Council met on Friday, April 29, 2016, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth, GA. Chief Justice Hugh Thompson convened the meeting at 1:00 p.m. This policy-making body heard reports from every class of court and various Council committees.

A short synopsis follows:
New Member
Judge Rooney BowenJudge Rooney Bowen III, (Probate Court of Dooly County and President-Elect, Council of Probate Court Judges) was sworn in as a member of the Judicial Council.
Special Report
Judge Wayne Purdom and Judge Michael Jacobs, both of the State Court of DeKalb County, presented an overview of the new garnishment statutes (passed by the legislature as SB 255).
Committee Reports
Judge Allen Wigington, filling in for Chief Judge Sara Doyle, reported on the work of the Strategic Plan Implementation Committee. Judge Wigington presented a motion to amend Article IV and Article VI of the bylaws of the Judicial Council which is related to committees and proposed bylaw amendments. The motion passed. Justice P. Harris Hines reviewed the final status of the legislative items which were supported by the Judicial Council during the most recent legislative session. Justice Harold Melton reported on behalf of the Budget Committee.
JC/AOC Report:
Ms. Cynthia Clanton, JC/AOC Director, reported on the work of the JC/AOC:
• Internal and external communication remain high priorities. Ms. Clanton sends out a weekly email updating staff on the work of the office and the use of social media continues to keep stakeholders informed.
• Touch Every Court Project: In efforts to increase outreach as a service agency, the JC/AOC has undergone a project to reach out to each court in the state. Ms. Clanton reported on several courts throughout the state in which she has attended events.
• The Fiscal staff has moved from the 4th floor to the 3rd floor in order to make room for two Justices of the Supreme Court. Two offices are also being built for the Judicial Qualifications Commission.
• The legislative session was a success thanks to the hard work of Justice Hines and the Policy and Legislative Committee, Tracy Mason, Christine Butcher, and the AOC’s legislative team.
• The JC/AOC provides services and collaborates with many Supreme Court of Georgia commissions and committees. Recently, these services have included coordinating the hiring of a new Executive Director for the Commission on Dispute Resolution; staffing the Supreme Court’s Justice for Children Committee, which recently held a meeting to discuss long term goals and resources; and administering the Tax Refund Intercept Program, which has received over 3,000 cases for intercept, totaling in excess of $2.2 million unpaid court debts. As of last week, over $10,000 has been disbursed to courts.
• Caseload reporting closed on April 1 and will be reported no later than August 1 on the JC/AOC website, georgiacourts.gov.      
Council Reports
Representatives from the appellate courts, trial court councils, Council of Superior Court Clerks, Council of Accountability Court Judges, and Georgia Council of Court Administrators provided reports.
Outgoing Members
Outgoing Judicial Council MembersChief Justice Thompson (photo at right) recognized outgoing Council members Judge Brenda Weaver, Judge John Morse, Judge Harry Jay Altman, Judge Edward Lukemire, Judge Matthew Simmons, Judge Lark Ingram, Judge Kathy Palmer, Judge Carlisle Overstreet, Judge Wayne Purdom, Judge John Sumner, Judge Robert Turner, and Judge Leslie Spornberger Jones.
Upcoming Meeting
The Judicial Council will next meet on Wednesday, August 31, 2016, at the State Bar of Georgia.


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