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Columbus Council approves five new Recorder’s Court pro-tem judges

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During each session of Columbus Recorder's Court, Judge Julius Hunter takes time to inform those with a case before the court to tell them their rights. These are your rights, as articulated by Hunter during a recent Recorder's Court session.
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During each session of Columbus Recorder's Court, Judge Julius Hunter takes time to inform those with a case before the court to tell them their rights. These are your rights, as articulated by Hunter during a recent Recorder's Court session.

Five new judges have been appointed as Recorder’s Pro-tems to serve on an as needed basis in Columbus Recorder’s Court.

Columbus Council unanimously approved the appointment of Cynthia Maisano Griffin, Susan Henderson, Bob Wadkins Sr., Jennifer Cooley and Traci Green Courville for the Recorder’s Court of Columbus Tuesday for a four-year term. Each will be paid on a per session basis as scheduled by Chief Judge Julius Hunter.

With the five appointments and current judge Robert Wilson, Recorder’s Court now has six Recorder’s Pro-tems. Missing from the new appointments is longtime pro-tem Michael Joyner who wasn’t reappointed to a new term..

Recorder’s Court handles misdemeanor traffic tickets and felony cases from the Columbus police and other public safety agencies. It also holds cases in Environmental Court for junk vehicles and overgrown grass along with Saturday and holiday court sessions.

Councilor Judy Thomas said the list of names was developed after the Recorder’s Court Committee met with Hunter, who holds the full-time position. The pro-tem judges will be selected from a roster developed by Hunter and paid $150 per session.

“They only are paid when they actually are holding court,” Thomas said.

Griffin is the only one who has served among the new pro-tems. The city will have to come up with about $7,000 to pay for state required training.

“At this point, there is nothing in the Recorder’s Court budget to cover that but we will have to either rearrange something in the budget or we may have to come back to you to ask for additional funding,” Thomas said.

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