McDONOUGH – Henry County’s Superior Court is optimistic that a fourth judge will be added to its ranks next year.
Brian Amero, judge of the Henry County Superior Court, provided an update to the Henry County Board of Commissioners at its Tuesday meeting, where he said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the court’s chances to get the judgeship.
Amero said that the Judicial Council of Georgia, as well as Henry County’s legislative delegation, has expressed support for the fourth judge, something that requires the approval of the General Assembly.
The Judicial Council of Georgia, which Amero is a member of, is responsible for developing policies for administering and improving Georgia courts.
At the council’s August meeting, a look at the workloads of the Henry court, as well as eight other judicial circuits who requested an additional judgeship.
According to documents from the council’s agenda for that August meeting, the three judges and their associated staffs have seen 3,855 civil cases from 2016 to 2018, and 1,862 criminal cases in that same period of time.
“The next step is the bill will be dropped in the Legislature and we anticipate it will be supported by all local members of the delegation,” Amero said. “Hopefully, the bill will pass, and we’ll have funding for the fourth judgeship. We will know by February, March or the end of the session.”
Amero said he was optimistic as the Judicial Council made the proposed fourth judgeship the number two priority for new judgeships in the county. Amero said typically, two to three judgeships per session are approved.
Back in February, Amero requested the fourth judge, citing a tremendous workload being experienced by the county’s three Superior Court judges.
Amero said in February that adding a fourth judge would be more than simply hiring a singular judge. Instead, the judgeship would also involve the addition of sheriff’s deputies, investigators and other individuals.
“In the Superior Court courtroom to support another judge and his work, I’d ask to add at least eight-10 people,” Amero said at the time. “Some are paid by the state, but the majority are paid by the county.”
Amero said he brought this to the BOC’s attention as he said it would be a very big undertaking for the county.
“You also need space for them,” Amero said.