Columbus and five other counties that compose the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit could get another Superior Court judge, if a recommendation from the Judicial Council of Georgia is approved by the General Assembly.
The Judicial Council met Friday in Forsyth to consider requests for new Superior Court judgeships. After reviewing the various case loads, the council approved two requests. The Chattahoochee circuit, composed of Muscogee, Harris, Chattahoochee, Taylor, Talbot and Marion counties, is first on the list to receive a new judgeship, a release states. The second is the Oconee Circuit, southeast of Macon.
"The Chattahoochee Circuit has a rather unique situation in the state," said Columbus public defender Bob Wadkins. "We have one giant county, Muscogee, and five relatively sparsely populated counties. It makes it difficult for scheduling with the six judges we have, without overburdening some and under-burdening others. From that standpoint, I think we could use another judge."
Superior Court judges preside over felony criminal cases. They also handle domestic and civil cases, as well as adoptions.
The council's recommendation now proceeds to the General Assembly, which has the power to create new judgeships. The state's legislature body convenes next year.