Fulton Magistrate Court recognized for being most efficient

The Magistrate Court of Fulton County recently received the highly coveted Clearance Rate Excellence Award, which recognizes courts for people-centered approaches and efficiency.
This is what Chief Judge Cassandra Kirk of Fulton Magistrate Court had to say.

How were you informed your court was the Clearance Rate Excellence Award recipient and how is it decided?
I received an email letting me know that our Court was selected to receive the award. This award comes from the research staff at the Administrative Office of the Courts, our statewide support for each class of Court. The award was given on behalf of the Standing Committee on Judicial Workload Assessment and presented to the Magistrate Court of Fulton County for achieving a three-year case clearance rate of 254%. Ideally, courts should strive to achieve a clearance rate goal of 100% or higher.


Why is this award so highly coveted?
Out of the 159 counties in Georgia and the over 950 courts throughout the State, our Magistrate Court was recognized as one of the top Courts for our case clearance rates, based on objective data and performance measures. Case clearance means the time it takes for cases to move through the system. This ensures that court-users do not have to wait endlessly for their issue to be resolved. We believe in service. Our Court takes in over 80,000 filings each year. The data used to determine this award represents the culmination of the efforts of our judges, interns, and support staff. The award covers a three-year period and emphasizes our primary focus to ensure people are heard and their cases reach adjudication timely.

What does this award mean to you?
That the state legislator and stakeholders throughout the county were correct in creating our Court in its current form. When I was appointed, I inherited a 30,000-case count backlog, which we cleared in two years with funding support from our Board of Commissioners. We welcome the opportunity to be accountable directly to the citizens of Fulton County. Our team is committed to being efficient with our limited resources and not making the public suffer to wait for justice indefinitely.


What do you want the world to know about you?
I’m grateful to serve the public, Fulton County, and this Court. With over 25 years’ experience as an attorney, judge, court administrator, prosecutor, defense attorney, and civil litigator, I was confident we would build a great team. Our Court will continue to Inform, Engage, and Empower Our Community through informational workshops, clinics and community partnerships. We strive to utilize and enhance our technology to make justice accessible to everyone. This award highlights our efficient use of limited resources. I am honored to serve with the Magistrate Court team that made this award possible: our judges, support staff, and our interns. I am thankful for the support the county has given us over the years and we will continue to serve our community with respect, honor, and dignity.

-Joy Butler
contributing writer

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