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Expert Task Force Recommends Changes to Fulton County Courts

September 18,2012

The Fulton County Court Improvement Task Force, formed by the Chief Judges of the Fulton Superior and State Courts, will release its final report and recommendations to the public after a year of study. Task Force members will highlight the critical need for innovation in the courts and the themes of the recommendations – customer service, transparency, accountability, budget efficiency, collaboration, and elimination of redundancies. They will explain the Task Force process and the recommended implementation plans. Members will answer questions from the media and public on Friday, September 28, 9:00 a.m. at the Loudermilk Center, located at 40 Courtland Street NE.

In attendance will be members of the Task Force including:

  • Mr. William Barwick, Esq., Former President of the State Bar of Georgia, Duane Morris LLP
  • Ms. Rita Sheffey, Esq., Immediate Past-President of the Atlanta Bar Association, Hunton & Williams LLP
  • Ms. Cicely Barber, Fulton County State Court Administrator
  • Mr. John H. Eaves, Chairman, Fulton County Board of Commissioners
  • Reverend Darrell Elligan, President, Lighthouse Community Development Corporation
  • Ms. Joan P. Garner, District 6, Fulton County Board of Commissioners
  • Ms. Liz Hausmann, District 3, Fulton County Board of Commissioners
  • Ms. Harriet Isenberg, Esq., Isenberg & Hewitt PC
  • Mr. Thomas M. LaDow, Business Consultant and Founder, ICM Strategies
  • Mr. George Lawson, Esq., Lawson and Thornton PC
  • Ms. Yolanda Lewis, Fulton County Superior Court Administrator and 5th District Court Administrator
  • Chief Judge Patsy Y. Porter, State Court of Fulton County
  • Mr. A. J. Robinson, President, Central Atlanta Progress
  • Ms. Cathelene “Tina” Robinson, Clerk of Fulton County Superior Court
  • Representative Wendell Willard, Chairman, House Judiciary Committee
  • Chief Judge Cynthia D. Wright, Superior Court, Atlanta Circuit and 5th District Administrative Judge

The Fulton County Superior, State, and Magistrate Courts comprise the largest court system in Georgia. The Courts impact all citizens at some point – through business litigation, family proceedings, jury duty, as a crime victim, or as a taxpayer. However, the Courts’ outdated infrastructure and cultural tensions have limited their ability to provide adequate customer service or effectively utilize taxpayer dollars. The Chief Judges created the Task Force to recognize the existing problems in the system, find solutions, and plan for future needs using national best practices and data from well-performing courts. Especially important due to jail overcrowding and decreasing county budgets, these recommendations, if implemented, will allow the Courts to serve Fulton County efficiently and effectively during coming years.