Photo: Chief Judge John Kent Edwards, Jr. is given the Oath of President by Chief Justice Michael P. Boggs of the Supreme Court of Georgia.
LOWNDES CO. – The Chief Judge of the State Court of Lowndes County was elected to serve as Council of State Court Judges President.
John Kent Edwards, Jr., Chief Judge of the State Court of Lowndes County, was elected to serve as President of the Council of State Court Judges at its annual meeting held in May. Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael P. Boggs gave Judge Edwards the Oath of Office. As President, Judge Edwards is also a member of the Judicial Council which is the governing body of the state-wide
Judicial Branch of Georgia.
Judge Edwards said, “When over 130 of your peers ask you to serve, it’s an honor. I deeply appreciate it and accept this honor on behalf of the people of Lowndes County. Without their faith and support, I would not have the opportunity to serve. I will continue to be an ambassador for my home county,
and to represent all State Courts to the best of my ability.”
State Courts have county-wide jurisdiction in seventy-three counties in Georgia. In the past three years, there were more than 2 million cases filed in all State Courts, making them the busiest courts of record in Georgia. State Courts have jurisdiction over misdemeanor criminal cases, including traffic cases and all civil cases, except domestic relations, real estate, and equity cases.
The Council of State Court Judges of Georgia is made up of more than 186 State Court judges and Senior judges throughout the state. As President, Judge Edwards will lead the Council in finding ways to fulfill its mission to further the improvement of the State Court and the quality and expertise of its judges; to maintain the impartiality of the judiciary; ensure the fair, efficient and uniform administration of justice; and enhance public confidence in the judicial system.
“Our biggest challenge will be to assist all of our state courts in working through the backlog of cases and jury trials that were placed on hold during the judicial emergency from the past three years.” said Judge Edwards. “Although our state courts did not close, redesigning our courtrooms and monitoring public access during the pandemic caused a delay in handling certain types of court matters.”
Judge Edwards has been a State Court Judge since June 7, 2006 and served as the Chair of District 2 of the Council of State Court Judges and a member of the Board of Court Reporting, serving as Chair for five years. Prior to State Court, Judge Edwards served as the Judge of the Valdosta City Municipal Court
The other newly elected officers of the Executive Committee are:
President John Kent Edwards, Jr. (Lowndes)
President-Elect Jeffrey B. Hanson (Bibb)
Secretary Gregory V. Sapp (Chatham)
Treasurer Susan E. Edlein (Fulton)
Past President R. Violet Bennett (Wayne)
District 1: Billy E. Tomlinson (Bryan)
District 2: Shawn Rowland (Jeff Davis)
District 3: Ellen S. Golden. (Lowndes)
District 4: Tammi L. Hayward (Clayton)
District 5: Monique Walker (Richmond)
District 6: John G. Breakfield (Hall)
District 7: Eric A. Richardson (Fulton)
District 8: Michelle H. Helhoski (Cherokee)