State court judge sworn in - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State court judge sworn in

October 15, 2002

Turner County clerks answer call after call from confused drivers cited for traffic violations, "O.k. fine for that's going to be $125," one clerk's aid tells a caller.

No court date is set on the tickets, just the probate number crossed out, and instead a note from state troopers and sheriff's deputies to call the newly created state court office.

"You can mail a cashier's check to the state court, that address is," she says.

Two books filled since July of all the tickets that have been written, but all those who want to contest their fines in state court, for now simply filed away in storage. 

The reason, a delay in appointments by the Governor. The matter finally resolved with the new judge being sworn in Tuesday. The court was added in the first place, to keep the county's superior and probate court judge from getting swamped.

"With more time, I can look up things, be available, and not be as loaded as I was,"  Probate Court Judge Penny Thomas says.

But for the first few weeks at least, the courtroom that's sure to be full is the one,  new state Judge John Holland presides over. He will have to try case after case, that piled up in the months Turner County went without someone to determine whether drivers were really speeding.

The other man sworn in Tuesday was Steve Ivie. He's the new solicitor responsible for collecting fines. The Governor's office offered no reason for why there was such a delay in appointing a judge.

posted at 6:00 p.m. by dave.d'marko@walb.com