Magistrate court preparing to change locations
Sep 18, 2013 | 2406 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Associate Judge Chris Fowler and inmate removing floor tile from old squad room yo convert into office space.
Associate Judge Chris Fowler and inmate removing floor tile from old squad room yo convert into office space.
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L. Gale Buckner, Chief Magistrate of Murray County, said that renovations have begun for a move to more user-friendly, secure facilities. The work to date has been done with a combination of Magistrate Court employees, community service workers, and inmate labor.

“Associate Judge Chris Fowler is using sledgehammers to knock down walls, and a cutting saw to take down bunks and kitchen items ensuring a complete & expeditious move is in process,” stated Buckner.

Buckner stated that Sole Commissioner Brittany Pittman approved the move after space was freed-up when Sheriff Gary Langford opened the new jail facilities.

The work to convert into a courtroom, conference room, and office space has progressed with the removal of the laundry, medical, records, visitation, and kitchen areas. This work has been done by Judge Fowler and Deputy Clerk Chris Jones, along with inmate labor from the Murray County Jail.

A resource for this labor has been provided by Jeaney Baker, owner of North Georgia Judicial Services. Ms. Baker has assigned community services workers to assist with the renovation. These workers have assisted in tearing down walls, taking up flooring tiles, and removing debris from the area.

Commissioner Pittman is reviewing bids from construction firms to move forward with detailed changes needed for the site.

The Georgia Department of Corrections has completed an on-site analysis of projects their Offender Work Construction Detail can assist with at reduced cost to taxpayers.

Buckner states move-in to new Magistrate Offices is tentatively scheduled for four months. At that time, an Open House will be help for the public.

Buckner also said that the court has finished records review dating back to the mid 1980’s.

“By utilizing the State Official Judicial Branch Record Retention Schedules, as well as the Georgia Archives retention recommendations, many documents 10 years and older were targeted to be destroyed.

“Approximately 260 55-gallon bags of shredded documents were donated to Keep Murray County Beautiful (KMCB) for recycling efforts.”

Buckner stated, “By adhering to the State guidelines, our Court is now in compliance, and we have established an annual review system for future analysis. Additionally, remaining documents have been organized in an easy-to-retrieve system.”

The bulk of the review was completed by Billie Tallent who was on loan from the Elections Office. Deputy Clerk Nicole Baldridge and Associate Judge Eric Hooker completed the process. Special thanks to Superior Court Clerk Donna Flood for usage of an industrial shredder, and to Frank Adams and his staff with KMCB for material removal.