Judge Charles Moye Jr. could have retired from the bench and lived the good life.
He didn't. He assumed senior status, a classification for retired federal judges, and kept hearing cases for the Northern District of Georgia. His bench presence helped lessen the caseload for active federal district judges.
"He loved what he was doing, and always said that being a judge was the best job in the world," said his son, H. Allen Moye of Decatur. "He said being a senior judge was even better because he took cases that interested him."
In Oct. 1970, Judge Moye was tapped by President Richard Nixon to be a U.S. District Judge. At the time, it was a new seat on the federal court in Atlanta. He was a chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia from 1979 to 1987. He assumed senior status on Jan. 1, 1988.
On Monday, U.S. Senior District Judge Charles Allen Moye Jr., of Decatur died of natural causes at VistaCare Hospice. He was 92. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today at Central Congregational United Church of Christ. A.S. Turner & Sons is in charge of arrangements.
In 1935, the Atlanta-born judge graduated from Boys High School. He earned an undergraduate's degree in economics from Emory University. He took two years off to work as a salesman for Gerber before he enrolled in Emory University Law School. He earned his law degree in 1943 and was admitted to the Georgia Bar.
From 1943 to 1970, he practiced law, first as an associate with the Atlanta firm of Gambrell and White, then as a partner with Gambrell, Russell, Moye & Killorin.
In his nearly 40 years on the federal district bench, Judge Moye decided more than 4,000 cases.
In 1971, he granted an injunction to the Morningside-Lenox Park Association to prevent the federal government, and the state of Georgia, from building an interstate highway through various in-town neighborhoods.
In 1985, he prevented the deportation of Cuban refugees back to their native country as had been outlined in an agreement between the United States and Cuba.
And in 2003, the senior judge restored accreditation to Life University's chiropractic program pending the resolution of a lawsuit the Marietta college had brought against a national accreditation agency.
In the 1970s, Atlanta attorney Richard P. Kessler Jr. was a law clerk for the judge.
"It was a wonderful experience," he said. "He was a man of honor, dedicated to the law and true to the oath he took both as a lawyer and as a judge."
Said his son, Mr. Moye: "Dad was always prepared for whatever came along, and acted with great courage, intellect, and also great kindness. "
Additional survivors include his wife of 65 years, Sarah Ellen Johnston Moye of Decatur; a daughter, Lucy Ellen Moye of Hillsdale, Mich.; one grandchild and one great-grandchild.
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