Probate Court Judge Patty Laine has bounced around to every courtroom in the current Hall County Courthouse.
With the courthouse annex, she now has her own space.
“That courtroom ... is going to change our life. It really is going to change how we get things done here,” Laine said.
Laine and the Probate Court staff spent the week of May 14 settling in to the courthouse annex while required by law to stay open to the public.
The move is part of the plan to give Hall County’s Juvenile and Probate courts the space in the renovated annex, which would extend the life of the existing courthouse.
Newly appointed Superior Court Judge Clint Bearden will then have space for a courtroom in the existing courthouse.
“I’ve always had to borrow a courtroom, and that gets harder and harder as time goes by,” Laine said.
Laine said the move was surprisingly smooth for her and her staff including seven full-time clerks and two part-time receptionist/secretaries.
“It’s really nice because they all have a window in their office, and that just makes them feel better. It makes everybody feel better,” she said.
Court Administrator Reggie Forrester said Juvenile Court is still on track to be moved into the annex by the third week of July.
“What’s going to happen, I think, is by the end of July, the sheriff is going to have the security fully loaded in over there,” he said.
Sheriff Gerald Couch wrote in an April email the timeframe for the move would need to be delayed because of needed time to train staff and test the security equipment.