No-Show judges at the Atlanta Municipal Court - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

FOX 5 I-Team

I-TEAM: No-Show judges at the Atlanta Municipal Court

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

On a rainy Monday morning, hundreds line up at the Atlanta Municipal Court. Most of them made the trek for the same reason; to resolve a traffic ticket. But it turns out some made the trip for nothing. The judge had the day off.

Quantez Hendricks not only missed work, he had to pay for a bus ride - in the rain - only to be told - no judge. "Extremely upset ...taking away from people's lives."

Chief Judge Herman Sloan says he doesn't know what happened the day we visited court. He believes judges do notify the public when they will be out. Judge Sloan says, "If you are going to be off on a planned day, you would notify people you were being off. I assume all the judges do that."

Judge Sloan says hiring fill-in judges is not in the budget. But he says there are other ways to get your case handled, even without a judge. If eligible, you can sign up for the Pre-Trial Intervention Program, or he says some cases can be transferred to another judge's court. But last fall, Court Administrator Christopher Patterson told the City Council that often cases have to be rescheduled and citizens have to make another trip downtown.

But that second trip? It will not be on a Friday, because there is no regularly scheduled court on Friday. Years ago, when a bad economy forced the city to furlough workers, Friday court was cut out. The furloughs ended, but the judges, who make $155,500 a year, decided to keep their four day workweek.

Atlanta City Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms says she doesn't understand the practice. "I'm a taxpayer. Every other department expected to be up and operating five days a week. I expect the same thing from our court system." Judge Sloan says returning to a five day work week could put the court over budget.

  • I-Team Story ArchiveMore>>

  • Hidden fees in checking accounts: Who's transparent, who's not

    Hidden fees in checking accounts: Who's transparent, who's not

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:10 AM EDT2014-08-27 12:10:06 GMT
    We already know about some of the fees our banks charge -- the monthly fee, the overdraft charge, out-of-network and minimum balance fees. That's standard stuff. But did you know that the average checking account has 30 fees attached?
    We already know about some of the fees our banks charge -- the monthly fee, the overdraft charge, out-of-network and minimum balance fees. That's standard stuff. But did you know that the average checking account has 30 fees attached?
  • Judge mulling sanctions related to ethics trial

    Judge mulling sanctions related to ethics trial

    Monday, August 25 2014 6:29 PM EDT2014-08-25 22:29:27 GMT
    A judge is deciding whether to sanction the Georgia attorney general's office, the state ethics commission and the commission's director for not releasing certain documents in a whistleblower trial.
    A judge is deciding whether to sanction the Georgia attorney general's office, the state ethics commission and the commission's director for not releasing certain documents in a whistleblower trial.
  • Controversial Hindu preacher found guilty

    Controversial Hindu preacher found guilty

    Monday, August 25 2014 4:19 PM EDT2014-08-25 20:19:49 GMT
    A federal jury in Atlanta returned a guilty verdict on all 34 counts against a ?controversial Hindu preacher?.
    A federal jury in Atlanta returned a guilty verdict on all 34 counts against a ?controversial Hindu preacher?.
  • Contact the FOX 5 I-Team

    * denotes required fields

    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 5.  To reach our newsroom by phone, please call (404) 898-0100.

Powered by WorldNow

KTBC FOX 7
119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-7777
Fax: (512) 495-7001

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices