Even when 5 p.m. rolls around, the work doesn’t stop for the Magistrate Court judges.
Each judge takes a week from 5 p.m. Friday to the following Friday morning when the judge is on call for electronic warrant service.
“We just got to the point where we needed a lot more help with the on-call, because of course, once 5 o’clock rolls around, we may leave the office, but we’re on call 24/7 for all the search warrants, all the arrest warrants, every misdemeanor,” Chief Magistrate Court Judge Margaret Gregory said.
The court has added Michelle Hall, a Gainesville attorney who has also served as the Flowery Branch Municipal Court judge, as a part-time judge.
Hall was first admitted to the state bar in 2002.
“I’m always happy to serve in any capacity that I can, but I was interested in Magistrate Court because it touches on areas of the law that I’ve practiced before as well as areas of the law that I’ve never practiced in, so it gives me the ability to grow,” Hall said.
The areas she was less familiar with were general civil cases and eviction proceedings known as dispossessories.
Court administrator Jason Stephenson said Hall’s annual compensation is set to be $32,352.
The job posting mentions two to four days per month of court coverage as well as assisting with the on-call work. Requirements for the job included being a Hall County resident, at least 30 years old, a Georgia citizen for three years and practicing law for seven years.
With Hall, the judges are now on call every fifth week.
Hall said she is not expecting to scale back in terms of her law office.
She has already had a taste of the on-call life over Christmas.
“It actually wasn’t bad at all. The officers were really nice,” Hall said.