Task force issues recommendation for improvments of Fulton’s “bloated, backlogged and inhospitable” courts

Fulton County’s court system is bloated, backlogged and inhospitable to visitors, concluded a task force that reviewed how the state’s busiest court operates. On Friday the Fulton County Court Improvement Task Force issued its final recommendations for improving how the court serves the public.

A high-functioning Fulton County court would eliminate the backlog of criminal and civil court cases and ease pressure on the Fulton County jail, which is being monitored by a federal judge for its safety and crowding problems, the panel’s report concludes.

The report does not outline all of the costs — or savings — related to the changes. But it operates on the premise that a more efficient court, that merges some jobs and functions, will save money both in operating the court and eliminating the expense of building more jail beds.

Here are some of the recommendations from panel’s report:

  • Operate one jury pool and one court interpreter office, instead of separate programs serving separate courts.
  • Conduct a cost-benefit analysis for consolidating the Superior Court and State Court administrative offices.
  • Provide customer-service desks near the courthouse entrances.
  • Provide the courts greater autonomy over their budgets and personnel decisions.
  • Put together a single pool of stenographers that serve both Superior Court and State Court, rather than have a single court reporter assigned to a single judge.
  • Provide easier access to all courts by implementing a uniform e-filing system.

Source: The Fulton County Court Improvement Task Force