Probate Court Judges Respond to Case Disposition Reporting Concerns

Atlanta, GA — In response to a state investigation into whether Georgia’s judges or law enforcement officials have given preferential treatment to certain DUI offenders, the Council of Probate Court Judges (CPCJ) has issued a statement detailing the steps it has taken to ensure there is no “ticket fixing” in probate courts.

Cook County Probate Judge L. Chase Daughtrey, CPCJ president, says that his Council has addressed concerns regarding the proper disposition of traffic offenses in Georgia’s probate courts.  “The Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) data that gave rise to an investigation into DUI case dispositions does not demonstrate any intentional impropriety by probate court judges,” Daughtrey said.  “But it reflects poor reporting by some to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, so the CPCJ will ensure all probate judges are properly trained and have the staff needed for reporting traffic offense dispositions.  Additionally, we are continuing our legislative effort to have a prosecutor in every probate court that has traffic and criminal jurisdiction and are encouraging judges to review the canons of judicial conduct to prevent any impropriety.”

The CPCJ launched its “READY campaign” last April, one aspect of which is to take proactive steps training probate judges,” according to Daughtrey. “The CPCJ has met with the Judicial Qualifications Commission, has requested regional training from GCIC for probate judges and clerks, and has offered staff to judges in need of assistance with administrative work relating to disposition of criminal cases,” Judge Daughtrey said.
           “Our READY campaign has enabled the CPCJ to aggressively tackle these concerns on the front end, in a way that provides support to our judges while maintaining public confidence in our sector of the judiciary.”