Campaign begins to create 5th superior court judgeship in Fayette

Funding may be tricky as state revenue continues to decline

Local attorneys are being asked to support a request to add a fifth Superior Court judgeship for the Griffin Judicial Circuit, which includes Fayette County.

The attorneys and other citizens were included in an mass email with the request to support the initiative authored by both Chief Superior Court Judge Christopher C. Edwards and fellow Superior Court Judge Tommy R. Hankinson.

The email asks supporters to send letters of recommendation on the matter to either of two email addresses: Kelvin Tolmich at kevin.tolmich@gaaoc.us or Justin Brady at justin.brady@gaaoc.us by Aug. 6, 2010.

The final recommendation will be up to the Judicial Council of Georgia, which will make its decision in September, according to the judges’ email.

It is unclear if there will be state funding for any new judgeships, however, as the state has virtually cut all funding for visiting senior judges who hear conflict cases in which local judges have recused themselves.

Also, there was an unsuccessful move afoot in the legislature this year to eliminate 19 Superior Court judgeships in effort to save $13 million from the state’s already tight budget.

According to the legislature earlier this year, the average workload per judge in the Griffin circuit is more than 2,400 cases each, which puts it in the top third tier of the state in terms of having higher than average caseloads.

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