Community Engagement

Magistrate Court Awarded Grant from National Center for State Courts

Fulton County Chief Magistrate and Court Administrator, The Honorable Cassandra Kirk (Atlanta Judicial Circuit), proudly announced a grant that has been awarded to the County’s Magistrate Court which will aid in a new pilot project aimed at improving the efficiency of its high volume civil case load.

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC), on February 15, 2017, notified Kirk that its Civil Justice Initiative Implementation Steering Committee approved a grant to the Fulton Magistrate Court supporting a demonstration pilot project to implement the recommendations of the Civil Justice Improvements Committee." The project, High Volume Court Simplified, will be directed by Judge Kirk and is designed to build a more user friendly pro se litigant court, using local legal and community resources and media support. The overall strategy of the pilot will be to restore public trust and confidence in a fast-paced legal process which requires litigants to address and resolve civil issues in a timely manner. The budding initiative is supported fully by Cathelene "Tina" Robinson, Superior and Magistrate Court Clerk and her staff.

Kirk states, "I am extremely honored that the NCSC and the Civil Justice Initiative Implementation steering committee saw our vision and agreed to support Magistrate Court’s new pilot project. Our civil case load continues to grow and it is extremely important that our methods of rendering efficient and effective services evolve as well; High Volume Court Simplified is our first step in doing so. I am also thankful for the support of Clerk Robinson. From the project’s inception, she has been engaged and I value her greatly, because without the staff, we wouldn’t be able to move this project forward. In addition, I am honored by the support of the Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, AVLF (Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation), The Chief Magistrate of Chatham County, the Landlord Tenant Mediation Project, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Answer Clinic and Tyler Technologies."

The grant, effective March 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018, will be accompanied by additional technical support for the project. Last year, Magistrate Court saw approximately 73,000 civil pro se litigant filings.

Millender chosen to participate in Leadership Atlanta Class of 2017

Judge Shukura Millender was chosen to participate in the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2017.  The class boasts 83 leaders from local fields such as education, law, corporate, religious, nonprofit, technology, health care and government.  Alumni include Judges Lillian Caudle and Chief Magistrate Cassandra Kirk.

View full story in original source from the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Treatment Diversion Court SUCCESS

Fulton County Magistrate Court's Treatment Diversion Court ("TDC") is an accountability court that serves misdemeanor defendants who need mental health services. Depending on the nature of the offense, TDC defendants are monitored for three to six months to ensure they are compliant with all aspects of their treatment plan and do not reoffend. A new graduate of the TDC program recently wrote to the TDC Presiding Judge,  Judge Lillian Caudle, about her experience. Her touching letter (with personal identifying information excerpted) is below:

"I take great pleasure in writing this letter and please accept this letter with my sincere gratitude. . . Judge Caudle, you have such a calm and caring demeanor. During the entire process, you treated me with Dignity and Respect! Having the TDC program available has changed my family’s life and mine forever. When I informed you that I was uninsured, you reassured me that I would receive the necessary support services to make my treatment a success regardless of my inability to pay. With a TDC referral, it eliminates the long waits for an appointment to see a Psychiatrist. What I appreciated the most in your Court was 'Accountability.' You not only held me accountable, but the team you assigned to me. During my 90 days in TDC, I received expedited mental health treatment, medication management, permanent housing, and other support services at no cost to me. Without mental health treatment, there is absolutely no way I would have been a success in the TDC program. Before TDC, I was unable to work for 7 years, but now I am employed earning $26.00 per hour with benefits. Judge Caudle, you gave me hope and I honestly believe that your guidance has resulted with a positive outcome for my family and me."

Fulton Clerk of Superior Court to Serve as Clerk of Magistrate Court

The People’s Court Joins with the People’s Clerk

On December 29, 2015, Chief Magistrate Judge Cassandra Kirk joined Clerk of Superior Court Cathelene “Tina” Robinson (Atlanta Judicial Circuit) at a press conference to announce a new court merger effective in January 2016.   Cathelene “Tina” Robinson will become the Fulton County Clerk of Superior and Magistrate Courts. This merger is a part of a larger vision to initiate a unified court system. The press conference was one of the ways the Courts announced the new decision. Notices will also be placed in mailings to remind customers of the change.

Clerk Cathelene “Tina” Robinson announced the details surrounding the new court merger. Court users will not experience any change in services and will continue to use TG-100 at the 185 Central Avenue location and the Superior Court Clerk windows at the North and South Annexes for Magistrate Court clerk transactions. The Clerk looks forward to implementing e-filing successfully in Magistrate Court as she has in Superior Court.

Chief Magistrate Judge Cassandra Kirk is confident that a more transparent, accountable and efficient Court will yield positive results for citizens. As she stated, “Fulton County is one county and this unification will prove beneficial for the County, citizens and court users.”

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Magistrate Judges Elected to Leadership Positions in the Gate City Bar Association Judicial Section

Judges Warren Atkinson (Vice Chair/Chair Elect), Melynee Leftridge (Secretary) and Shukura Millender (Member-at-Large) were elected to serve the Judicial Section of the Gate City Bar Association in December 2015.  All, along with other members of the Executive Board, were installed on January 19, 2016. Please visit the associated Gate City Bar Association website.

Magistrates participate in Yo!Boulevard Back to School event

Fulton County Commisisoner Joan Garner and City of Atlanta Councilman Kwanza Hall hosted their annual back to school party. Over 1,300 Boulevard corridor residents attended the  #YearofBoulevard Back-to-School Block Party! Fulton County Magistrate Court joined Fulton County Superior Court as one of 70+ organizations that came out to connect Old Fourth Ward kids, families, and seniors to city and county agencies and nonprofit services.

Magistrate Investiture May 15, 2015

After an interview and selection process, eight (8) Fulton County magistrates were sworn in to begin their official full time duties on May 15, 2015. Joining Chief Magistrate Judge Kirk are Magistrate Judges Warren Atkinson, Lillian Nash Caudle, Stephanie C. Davis, Jeffrey W. Frazier, Jaslovelin J. Lall, Melynee Leftridge, Shukura Ingram Millender and Karen Smith Woodson.

Chief Magistrate reshapes newly independent Court

Read the full story in the Fulton County Daily Report online.

Lall and Altman serve on the Council of Magistrate Court Judges

Judges Jim Altman and Jessy Lall represent Fulton County on the Council of Magistrate Court Judges on its Executive Committee. Judge Altman also serves as Chair of the Uniform Rules Committee and as a member of the Legislation and Benchbook committees. Judge Lall is a member of Strategic Planning, Training, Benchbook, and Nominations/Awards Committees. The Council of Magistrate Court Judges was created by statute to effectuate the constitutional and statutory responsibilities conferred upon it by law, to: further the improvement of the magistrate courts and the administration of justice; assist the chief magistrates, magistrates, and senior magistrates throughout the state in the execution of their duties; and to promote and assist in the training of chief magistrates, magistrates, and senior magistrates. Visit the Georgia Magistrate Council website for more information.