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Court Hearings & Guidelines (May 13, 2020)

The Appalachian Judicial Circuit is comprised of Fannin, Gilmer, and Pickens counties in the state of Georgia.

Each county of the Appalachian Circuit has its own Superior Court with each of the three judges serving all three counties.

Each county of the Appalachian Circuit has its own Juvenile Court with two full-time Juvenile Court Judges who serve all three counties.

The Appalachian Circuit is part of the 9th Judicial District.

Superior Court

Drug Courts, Veterans Court, Parent Accountability Court, Help Court, Truancy Court
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County Courts

Magistrate Courts and Probate Courts in Fannin, Gilmer, & Pickens counties
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Judicial Calendar

Yearly Superior Court & Juvenile Court Calendars for Remote Proceedings
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Judges

Contact Information for Judges & Staff in Fannin, Gilmer, & Pickens counties
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Appalachian Circuit

Superior Court

The Superior Court is Georgia’s general jurisdiction trial court. It has exclusive, constitutional authority over felony cases, divorce, equity, and cases regarding title to land. Superior Court also handles appeals from Probate Court and Magistrate Court.

Each of the three counties – Fannin, Gilmer, and Pickens – of the Appalachian Circuit has its own superior court, with each judge serving all three counties.

Click here for an overview of all Superior Courts in Georgia.

Fannin Clerk of Superior Courts

Clerk of Superior Court Dana Chastain
P.O. Box 1300
Blue Ridge, GA 30513

706-632-2039 phone

706-258-5200 jury phone line

Gilmer Clerk of Superior Courts

Clerk of Superior Court Amy Johnson
1 Broad Street #102
Ellijay, GA 30540

706-635-4462 phone

706-635-4468 jury phone line

Pickens Clerk of Superior Courts

Clerk of Superior Court Jennifer Jordan
52 North Main Street
P.O. Box 130
Jasper, GA 30143

706-253-8763 phone

706-253-8763 jury phone line

Adult Drug Court

Superior Court Chief Judge Brenda S. Weaver
P.O. Box 545
Jasper, GA 30143

Contact: Nicole Panter 706-889-3314

The Adult Drug Court is a specialized court operating as a division of the Superior Court.

The mission of the Adult Drug Court is to stop the abuse of drugs and alcohol and related criminal activity.

Every county in the circuit operates an Accountability Court.

Veterans Court

Superior Court Chief Judge Brenda S. Weaver
P.O. Box 545
Jasper, Georgia, 30143

Contact: Chris Holt, Coordinator 706-301-8483

Veterans Court Facebook Page

Veterans Treatment Court seeks to divert eligible veterans with substance abuse, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), mental illness, who have been charged with a criminal offense, to a specialized criminal docket. The court substitutes a treatment and problem-solving model, along with accountability, including drug testing and curfews, for the traditional court processing.

Our veterans deserve a chance for treatment. They served our country and now this is our opportunity to serve them. The Appalachian Judicial Circuit’s Veterans Treatment Court was established in 2013 and is based on the model originally established by Judge Robert Russell in Buffalo New York. (Insert the above information that was already on the website here). The VTC utilizes local treatment providers in addition to the resources from the US Dept Of Veterans Affairs. Veterans treatment courts have a very low recidivism rate compared with other criminal justice interventions. In fact, recent studies indicate the arrest rate within one year after graduation for a veterans court graduate is only 14 percent.

Parental Accountability Court

Superior Court Judge John E. Worcester
400 West Main Street, Suite 300
Blue Ridge, GA 30513

Contact: Craig Shiba, Coordinator 404-971-2205

The Parental Accountability Court Program (PAC), formerly known as Child Support Court or Problem Solving Court, began in 2009. The program is the result of cooperative partnerships between multiple judicial circuits, the Administrative Office of the Courts, and the Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Child Support Services.

PAC seeks to address underlying issues that make it difficult for non-custodial parents to pay child support while providing judges with an alternative to incarceration in civil contempt cases.

The program uses a team approach to meet participants’ needs as they become more accountable for supporting their children Members of the Parental Accountability Court Team include the Judge, Special Assistant Attorney General (SAAG), or Assistant District Attorney (ADA), Parental Accountability Court Coordinator (PAC-C), from the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Child Support Services (DCSS), DCSS local Office Manager, and representative(s) from the Community Service Board (CSB).

PAC utilizes resources within the community that helps address the root causes of chronic nonpayment. These resources may include referrals to employment programs, General Education Development (GED) classes, short-term training, and referrals to counseling and access and visitation mediators. PAC also reduces incarceration costs for county governments while helping parents become accountable for supporting their children.

The program encompasses vocational, educational, and mentoring concepts. When necessary, the program may also address behavioral health and developmental disability issues by providing referrals to appropriate resource providers.

HELP Court

Superior Court Judge John E. Worcester
400 West Main Street, Suite 300
Blue Ridge, GA 30513

Contact: Lindsey Ramirez, (706) 299-4155

Judicial Circuit Help Court Facebook Page

HELP Court is a court-supervised program coupled with intensive treatment and supervision. The court is designed to address an increasing number of defendants who were involved with criminal courts based, in large part, on actions that were related to undiagnosed and/or untreated mental disorders. You also may be co-occurring with a substance abuse history.

HELP stands for the four focuses of the program: Health, Empowerment, Life, and Productivity

This is a voluntary program that includes regular court appearances before the designated judge. This program puts a priority on community support groups, attending substance abuse treatment, participating in mental health treatment and medication compliance, and being subject to sanctioned community supervision as well as a specific amount of hours towards giving back o the community, submitting to random drug testing and making regular appearances in court. HELP Court will hold participants accountable and assist in achieving long-term stability to become productive citizens and successful members of the community.

Appalachian Circuit

Juvenile Court

The purpose of our juvenile courts is to protect the well-being of children, provide guidance and control conducive to child welfare and the best interests of the state, and secure care for children removed from their homes. The exclusive, original jurisdiction of juvenile courts extends to delinquent children under the age of 17 and deprived or unruly children under the age of 18.

Juvenile courts have concurrent jurisdiction with superior courts in cases involving custody and child support cases, and in proceedings to terminate parental rights. The superior courts have original jurisdiction over those juveniles who commit certain serious felonies. The juvenile court also has jurisdiction over minors committing traffic violations or enlisting in the military services, consent to marriage for minors, and cases involving the Interstate Compact on Juveniles.

The Appalachian Circuit has two full-time juvenile judges who preside in all three counties of the circuit.

Fannin Clerk of Juvenile Courts

Clerk of Juvenile Court Dana Chastain
P.O. Box 1300
Blue Ridge, GA 30513

706-632-2039 phone

706-258-5200 jury phone line

Gilmer Clerk of Juvenile Courts

Clerk of Juvenile Court Amy Johnson
1 Broad Street #102
Ellijay, GA 30540

706-635-4462 phone

706-635-4468 jury phone line

Pickens Clerk of Juvenile Courts

Clerk of Juvenile Court Jennifer Jordan
52 North Main Street
P.O. Box 130
Jasper, GA 30143

706-253-8763 phone

706-253-8763 jury phone line

Juvenile Drug Court

Judge Keith Galligan
P.O. Box 2043
400 West Main Street, Suite 302
Blue Ridge, GA 30513

Donna Weaver, Administrator
706-632-2225

The Appalachian Juvenile Drug Court is a program designed to assist youths under the age of seventeen to make successful choices free of the influence of drugs or alcohol. The Juvenile Drug Court serves Fannin, Gilmer, and Pickens counties and is an intensive, 18 to 24 months program aimed at treatment and rehabilitation of youth charged with delinquent acts involving drugs and/or alcohol. The Court utilizes bi-monthly judicial reviews, weekly counseling, random drug screening and compliance officers in the detection and prevention of illegal drug use by the youth enrolled in the program. The Court awards incentives for compliant behavior and imposes sanctions for negative behavior. The Drug Court Team consists of the Juvenile Court Judge, Drug Court Coordinator, District Attorney, Public Defender, Probation Department, and Treatment Providers.

Truancy Court

Donna Weaver, Administrator
706-632-2225

The Juvenile Court also operates a specialized “Truancy” Court in every county of the Circuit.

The mission of the Truancy Court is to:

  • Improve student attendance
  • Decrease student tardiness
  • Decrease student early dismissals
  • Raise student achievement
  • Foster parent & student responsibility
  • Provide home support for families

Family Drug Court

Chief Judge Jan Wheeler
P.O. Box 2043
400 West Main Street, Suite 302
Blue Ridge, GA 30513

Contact: Sierra Hawkins 706-299-3036

The Appalachian Family Drug Court is a program designed to facilitate the treatment and rehabilitation of parents whose children have been or are in danger of being removed from their custody due to unresolved substance abuse issues. The Family Drug Court serves Fannin, Gilmer, and Pickens counties and is a voluntary, intensive two-year program.

The Court utilizes bi-monthly judicial reviews, weekly counseling and random drug screening in the detection and prevention of illegal drug use by the parents enrolled in the program. The Family Drug Court Team consists of the Juvenile Court Judge, Family Drug Court Coordinator, Special Appointed Attorney General, Attorney for the Parents, Case Manager, and Treatment Providers. The mission of the Family Drug Court is to stop the abuse of drugs and alcohol, while at the same time, preserving and reuniting families.