Fulton County Court Improvement Task Force
Fulton County Task Force Looks for Efficiencies in the Judicial System
Beginning in November 2011, Fulton County judges, government leaders, and stakeholders began studying how to improve business processes in the Superior and State Court systems. The Fulton County Court Improvement Task Force, spearheaded by the Superior Court, State and Magistrate Courts, Fulton County Board of Commissioners, Georgia General Assembly, Atlanta Bar, and community leaders, aims to anticipate demands on the judicial system through 2025 and recommend how best to prepare for those needs from an organizational, jurisdictional, and operational standpoint. It also hopes to change current processes that are inefficient and delay justice.
“Fulton’s taxpayers deserve a Judiciary that recognizes its unique role in this State and the value of the taxpayers’ dollars. The world has vastly changed since 1976, when our current system was designed,” said Chief Judge Cynthia D. Wright, Superior Court of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit and Fifth Circuit Administrative Judge. “It will be vastly different in 2025. The time is now to design a system that protects the public and protects the public purse.”
The Task Force will address how best to ensure that civil litigants receive prompt and fair hearings; criminal cases are processed accurately and efficiently; pro se litigants have the proper resources to achieve justice; and all participants in the Fulton County court system receive improved customer service. The Task Force will furnish its findings and recommendations about the business system improvements to county and state officials; these recommendations will include potential budget efficiencies for Fulton County taxpayers. “Our criminal justice system must be brought into the twenty-first century. Working together, we must reduce costs by holistically looking at criminal justice, which includes streamlining business processes and integrating technology to improve the speed, efficiency, and communications of the overall system,” shared Mr. John Eaves, Chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners.
Emanating from recommendations by the Fulton County Criminal Justice Blue Ribbon Commission, the Task Force will increase public safety and conserve public resources by identifying innovations in the courts’ structure, operation, and jurisdiction. The Task Force’s work is especially relevant as resources dwindle and demands on the justice system grow. The Task Force will issue a report of recommendations for the Fulton County judicial system in September 2012.
Members of the Fulton County Court Improvement Task Force were appointed by Chief Judge Cynthia Wright, in consultation with the Chief Judge Patsy Porter, State Court of Fulton County, and other elected officials. Members include:
· Chief Judge Cynthia D. Wright, Superior Court of the Atlanta Circuit and Fifth District Administrative Judge;
· Chief Judge Patsy Porter, State Court of Fulton County;
· Ms. Yolanda Lewis, Superior Court Administrator and Fifth District Court Administrator;
· Ms. Cicely Barber, State Court Administrator;
· Mr. William Barwick, Esq., Former President of the State Bar, Partner at Duane Morris LLP, and Chair of the Task Force;
· Mr. John H. Eaves, Chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners;
· Rev. Darrell Elligan;
· Ms. Joan Garner, District 6, Fulton County Board of Commissioners;
· Ms. Liz Hausmann, District 3, Fulton County Board of Commissioners;
· Ms. Harriett Isenberg, Esq.;
· Mr. Thomas M. LaDow, Founder ICM Strategies, Business Consultant;
· Mr. George Lawson, Esq.;
· Mr. A.J. Robinson, Central Atlanta Progress;
· Ms. Cathelene “Tina” Robinson, Clerk of Fulton Superior Court;
· Ms. Rita Sheffey, ex officio, President of the Atlanta Bar Association;
· Sen. Horacena Tate, Senate Special Judiciary Committee; and
· Rep. Wendell Willard, Chairman House Judiciary Committee.