Georgia Legislative Year in Review: training and qualifications for judges & clerks of court; intimidating judges & others involved in judicial proceedings

New laws affecting the courts enacted by the Georgia legislature in 2012 include the following:

HB 351 Changes portion of fees/fines paid to the Judges of the Probate Courts Retirement Fund.

HB 534 Modifies qualifications for probate clerks in various counties and the service of probate clerks as judges of probate.

HB 541 Includes in crime of obstruction of public administration threatening or intimidating a law enforcement officer, public official, or other person relating to such persons involvement in a judicial proceeding.

HB 665 Restructures the offices of the Clerks of Superior Court.  Alters provisions with respect to appointment and succession to office of clerk. Changes provisions related to storage of paper and electronic documents. Increases bond amount at appointment to $1 million.

HB 997 Provides for the new crime of false lien statements against public officers, including all judges, or public employees, including every person employed by the judicial branch.

HB 1176 Requires judicial council adopt establish mandatory policies (rather than standards) and practices for mental health, drug court,  divisions. Requires council certify mental health and drug courts. Requires creation of electronic information system(s) to gauge performance of mental health and drug courts.

SB 50 Resorts priorities of distribution of fines, forfeitures, surcharges, additional fees, and costs in cases of partial payments into the court, so as to add certain fees for funding of local victim assistance programs into the list of priorities.

SB 351 Requires all municipal court judges receive same training.