2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 15 - COURTS
CHAPTER 11 - JUVENILE PROCEEDINGS
ARTICLE 1 - JUVENILE PROCEEDINGS
PART 2 - JUVENILE COURT ADMINISTRATION
§ 15-11-18 - Creation of juvenile courts; terms and compensation of judges; state grants for judicial salaries; qualifications; presiding judge; practice of law; actions by judges; administration; expenditures
. Creation of juvenile courts; terms and compensation of judges; state grants for judicial salaries; qualifications; presiding judge; practice of law; actions by judges; administration; expenditures
(a) Creation. There is created a juvenile court in every county in the state.
(b) Appointment; authority; judgeships in existence on or before October 1, 2000. The judge or a majority of the judges of the superior court in each circuit in the state may appoint one or more qualified persons as judge of the juvenile courts of the circuit. Such superior court judge or judges shall establish the total number of circuit-wide juvenile court judges and shall establish whether the judge or judges shall be full time or part time, or a combination of full time and part time. Each circuit-wide judge appointed will have the authority to act as judge of each juvenile court in each county of the circuit. If no person is appointed as a juvenile court judge for the circuit, then the superior court judge or judges of the circuit shall assume the duties of the juvenile court judge in all counties in the circuit in which a separate juvenile court judgeship had not been established as part of the duties of the superior court judge. All juvenile court judgeships, their methods of compensation, selection, and operation, established on or before October 1, 2000, shall continue until such time as one or more circuit-wide juvenile court judges are appointed. However, in any circuit where a superior court judge assumes the duties of the juvenile court judge, such circuit shall not be entitled to the state funds provided for in subsection (d) of this Code section.
(c) Fulfilling preexisting terms; jurisdiction. When one or more circuit-wide juvenile court judges are appointed, any juvenile court judge in office at that time shall be authorized to fulfill his or her term of office. The jurisdiction of each judge shall be circuit wide.
(d) Terms and compensation of judges.
(1) Each juvenile court judge appointed under this Code section shall serve for a term of four years. Except as otherwise provided by law, the compensation of the full-time or part-time juvenile court judges shall be set by the superior court as provided in subsection (h) of this Code section with the approval of the governing authority or governing authorities of the county or counties for which the juvenile court judge is appointed.
(2) The state, out of funds appropriated to the judicial branch of government, shall contribute toward the salary of the judges on a per circuit basis in the following amounts:
(A) Each circuit with one or more juvenile court judges who are not superior court judges assuming the duties of juvenile court judges shall receive a state grant of $85,000.00;
(B) In addition to the base amount set out in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, each circuit which on or after October 1, 2000, has more than four superior court judges is eligible for additional state grants. For each superior court judge who exceeds the base of four judges, the circuit shall be eligible for an additional grant in an amount equal to one-fourth of the base amount of the state grant set out in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph;
(C) In those circuits where the judge or judges of the superior court elect to use the state grant provided in this paragraph for one or more part-time judges, the amount of the state grant shall be as follows:
(i) For each part-time judge who works one day weekly...$ 17,000.00
(ii) For each part-time judge who works two days weekly...34,000.00
(iii) For each part-time judge who works three days weekly........
(iv) For each part-time judge who works four days weekly.68,000.00;
provided, however, that a grant for one or more part-time judges shall not exceed the amount the circuit is eligible for in accordance with subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph;
(E) Reserved; and
(F) All state grants provided by this paragraph shall be spent solely on salaries for juvenile court judges and shall not be used for any other purposes.
(3) After the initial appointments and prior to any subsequent appointment or reappointment of any part-time or full-time juvenile court judge under this Code section, the judge or judges responsible for making the appointment shall publish notice of the opening on the juvenile court once a month for three months prior to such appointment or reappointment in the official legal organs of each of the counties in the circuit where the juvenile court judge has venue. The expense of such publication shall be paid by the county governing authority in the county where such notice or notices are published.
(e) Qualifications of judges. No person shall be judge of the juvenile court unless, at the time of his or her appointment, he or she has attained the age of 30 years, has been a citizen of the state for three years, and has practiced law for five years. A juvenile court judge shall be eligible for reappointment.
(f) Presiding judge. In the event that more than one juvenile court judge is appointed, one shall be designated presiding judge.
(g) Practice of law by judges. It shall be unlawful for any full-time juvenile court judge to engage in any practice of law outside his or her role as a juvenile court judge. It shall be unlawful for a part-time judge of any juvenile court to engage directly or indirectly in the practice of law in his or her own name or in the name of another as a partner in any manner in any case, proceeding, or matter of any kind in his or her own court or in any other court in any case, proceeding, or any other matters of which his or her own court has pending jurisdiction or has had jurisdiction. It shall be unlawful for any juvenile court judge, full time or part time, to give advice or counsel to any person on any matter of any kind whatsoever which has arisen directly or indirectly in his or her own court, except such advice or counsel as he or she is called upon to give while performing the duties of a juvenile court judge.
(h) Action by superior court judges. In any case in which action under this Code section is to be taken by the superior court judge of the circuit, such action shall be taken as follows:
(1) Where there are one or two judges, such action shall be taken by the chief judge of the circuit; and
(2) Where there are more than two judges, such action shall be taken by a majority vote of the judges of the circuit.
(i) Administration and expenses. Each juvenile court created under this article shall be assigned and attached to the superior court of the county for administrative purposes. The governing authority of the county of residence of each juvenile court judge shall offer the juvenile court judge or judges insurance benefits and any other benefits except retirement or pension benefits equivalent to those offered to employees of the county, with a right to contribution from other counties in the circuit for a pro rata contribution toward the costs of such benefits, based on county population. Counties shall continue to provide membership in retirement plans available to county employees for any juvenile court judge in office before July 1, 1998, who did not become a member of the Georgia Judicial Retirement System provided by Chapter 23 of Title 47. Except as otherwise provided by subsection (d) of this Code section, all expenditures of the court are declared to be an expense of the court and payable out of the county treasury with the approval of the governing authority or governing authorities of the county or counties for which the juvenile court judge is appointed.
(1) To the extent that the provisions of this Code section conflict with a local constitutional amendment authorizing the election of a juvenile court judge and with the provisions of a local Act authorized by such local constitutional amendment to provide for the term of office, vacancies in office, qualifications, compensation, and full-time or part-time status of a juvenile court judge or judges, the provisions of such local constitutional amendment and such local Act shall govern.
(2) The state grants provided by subsection (d) of this Code section shall be provided to any circuit encompassing a juvenile court governed by the provisions of a local constitutional amendment and a local Act in the same manner as other circuits, except that, in any circuit with one or more elected juvenile court judges, the elected juvenile court judge who is senior in duration of service as a juvenile court judge shall establish, subject to other applicable provisions of law, the total number of circuit-wide juvenile court judges, whether the judge or judges shall be full time or part time or a combination of full time and part time, and the compensation of any part-time juvenile court judge or judges.
(k) Simultaneous service by judges.
(1) No person who is serving as a full-time juvenile court judge after appointment as judge pursuant to this Code section shall at the same time hold the office of judge of any other class of court of this state.
(2) The provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall also apply to any person serving as a juvenile court judge after being elected juvenile court judge pursuant to a local law authorized by a constitutional amendment providing for the election of one or more juvenile court judges.
(3) Nothing in this subsection shall prevent any duly appointed or elected juvenile court judge from sitting by designation as a superior court judge pursuant to Code Section 15-1-9.1
or as otherwise provided by law.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer