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Clarifying amendments to the Judicial Council Policies and Fees for Court Reporting Services in Criminal Cases were adopted by the Council at its February 27 meeting. The amendments to 2.1, Takedown and Transcript Filing in Criminal Proceedings, and 2.4, Business Continuity, responded to questions and proposals from superior and state court judges subsequent to adoption of the policies and fees in September 2014. The amended policies are effective immediately.
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Speaking to a joint session of the Georgia General Assembly, Chief Justice Hugh P. Thompson delivered his second State of the Judiciary address on February 4, 2015.  “Each day in Georgia, our judges dispense justice,” the Chief Justice observed. “Each day, when they look at the people in their courtroom, they consider that their decisions will change individuals’ lives forever.”
 
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The Judicial Council’s Administrative Office of the Courts is scheduled to begin its Tax Refund Intercept Program (TRIP) pilot testing this month.  TRIP is being developed following the passage of HB 1000 by the 2014 Georgia General Assembly. HB 1000, sponsored by Rep. Barry Fleming (District 121), authorizes the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to submit debts on behalf of Georgia’s courts to the Georgia Department of Revenue (Revenue) for collection from state income tax refunds.  The legislation authorizes the interception to satisfy court-ordered fines and fees that remain unpaid, along with providing debtors the right to contest the intercept. 
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Due Process and Access to Justice for LEP and DHH Individuals[i]

Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper, Esq.[ii]

            In administering justice each day, Georgia’s courts face a number of challenges, including ensuring access to justice for limited English proficient (LEP) and Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) litigants. Georgia has ten (10) judicial districts and forty-nine (49) judicial circuits in which approximately 1,400 judges enter their respective courtrooms each day committed to reaching just decisions and ensuring all Georgians have meaningful access to justice. From 1990 to 2000 our national LEP population grew 80 percent, with the Southeastern and Southwestern United States seeing some of the highest growth rates.[iii] Specifically, Georgia ranked among the top ten states (#3) with the largest number of LEP residents.[iv]

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