A Day in the Life of a Magistrate Judge: Judge Rebecca Pitts of Butts County

Judicial Profile: Judge Walter Davis of Georgia’s Business Court
August 23, 2019
August 2019 Issue
August 26, 2019

by Robert Aycock

Chief Magistrate Rebecca Pitts


High Victorian Style built in 1898 by the same firm that did many other Georgia courthouses and Tech Tower. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 (via Wikipedia)


Most days begin with administrative work. As a smaller county, the magistrate court makes do with minimal staff. Chief Magistrate Pitts must cover a wide range of duties even manning the front desk when nobody else is available.


Later in the morning, Judge Pitts heard a civil calendar. Today most hearings were for dispossessory proceedings. As in common in magistrate courts, many of the litigants did not have attorneys. Despite this, Judge Pitts works hard to make the complex court proceedings understandable to anyone before her.



Between calendars, Judge Pitts returns to her administrative duties. Today, Butts County Sheriff Gary Long brought over blueprints of the new Butts County Judicial Center for review.



Service to Butts County is a family tradition for Judge Pitts. Her uncle, Luther J. Washington served as the County Ordinary (now known as Probate Judge) and her mother, Vicki W. Johnston served both as probate clerk and later as the Probate Judge of the county. Prior to her retirement, Judge Johnston was able to swear her daughter in as Chief Magistrate after Judge Pitts won her first election. Judge Pitts continues to wear her mother’s judicial robe to this day.


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