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DeKalb Magistrate Court adds five new judges, bringing total to 29

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DeKalb Magistrate Court adds five new judges, bringing total to 29

(From Left to Right) Judge Tamara Williams, Judge Teri Thompson, Judge Elizabeth Guerrant, Chief Judge Berryl A. Anderson, Judge Thomas Kemp III, and Judge Mirna Andrews. Photo provided to Decaturish

DeKalb County, GA — DeKalb Chief Magistrate Berryl A. Anderson has appointed five new judges to the county’s magistrate court, increasing the number of judges from 24 to 29.

According to Ballotpedia, Georgia magistrate courts are limited in scope and do not hold jury trials. The judges handle small claims, minor crimes, distress warrants, county ordinance violations, preliminary hearings, and arrest and search warrants.

Adding more judges is needed to clear a backlog of cases created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Anderson said.

“This unprecedented addition of five new judges will further assist the court in continuing to reduce the backlog of cases accumulated during the pandemic,” Anderson said.

The new judges are:

— Mirna Andrews, a DeKalb County Assistant District Attorney for 12 years.

— Elizabeth Guerrant, a Supervising Attorney for Atlanta Legal Aid Society for 16 years

— Tom Kemp, who has 20 years experience as a DeKalb County prosecutor

— Tamara Williams, an attorney with more than 11 years experience

— Teri Thompson, a criminal defense attorney with 23 years experience

“Each one of these newly appointed judges brings to the court the depth of experience and knowledge necessary to ensure justice for the citizens of DeKalb County,” the press release from DeKalb Magistrate Court says.

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