Tucked away on the 3rd floor of the Justice Center is the Office of the Superior and State Court Administrator. This department provides administrative support services to the Superior and State Courts of the Circuit. These services include: Budget, Financial Management, Court Informational Technology, Personnel Services, Purchasing / Contracting, liaison with other branches and agencies of the government and with the public.
The Court Administration's Office has several divisions:
Extensive Law Library
The Law Library is open to the general public and attorneys Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. The library contains a basic collection of reference materials covering the Georgia and Federal practice areas.
The library contains extensive print and online services. Electronic holdings include Georgia Law, Forms, Citator for Georgia and Federal Law, and a Federal Practice Manual.
According to Simmons, the Board of Trustees of the Law Library is very progressive and has made sure the library is a good resource.
He adds that the library is heavily used and has the best single collection between Downtown Atlanta and Macon.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
ADR is a mediation process ordered by judges for every contested domestic matter before it is placed on a trial calendar. This office is located on the 2nd Floor. Kathleen Sterne heads this division.
During this process, a third party mediator works with the parties to settle the issues before the court. All mediators are trained professionals. Mediation focuses on the needs and interests of the parties rather than on rights and position. Clients pay for mediation.
Seminar for Divorcing Parents
ADR also provides a mandatory Seminar for Divorcing Parents. This four-hour session is held on the first Tuesday of each month and focuses on the needs of children during these times of stress.
The seminars are conducted by qualified professionals from Families First and include topics on How families experience divorce; Typical reactions of children; Developmental needs of children; Skills that help children cope; and Pitfalls to avoid.
The Bailiffs for Superior and State Court also fall under Court Administration. Chief Court Orderly Officer Gary Higgins supervises this program.
Along with all of these functions, the office provides foreign language and sign interpreters for courts within the circuit.
It is good to know our Court Administrator's Office provides such a wide variety of programs for those going through the court system.