Juvenile Court Judges
The Judiciary conducts all hearings which are mandated by law to determine the existence of probable cause, the necessity for detention, adjudication and disposition of delinquency, dependency, children in need of services, and traffic offenses; grants legitimations, guardianships, sealing records, permission to marry, to join the military or to determine parent notification of a minor’s intention to seek an abortion; and judicial reviews of children who are placed in foster care.
By special authorization of the Fulton County Superior Court, the Fulton County Juvenile Court also conducts adoptions for those cases where the termination of parent rights has occurred to expedite permanency for these children. Chief Presiding Judge Juliette W. Scales leads the judiciary and directs the operations of Fulton County Juvenile Court.
Chief Presiding Judge Juliette W. Scales
Chief Presiding Judge Juliette W. Scales received her undergraduate degree from Hampton University. She received her Juris Doctorate from American University, Washington College of Law. She was initially appointed to the bench in June, 2002, reappointed as a presiding judge in May, 2013 and designated as Chief Presiding Judge in January 2018. Judge Scales has served as President of the Council of Juvenile Court Judges of Georgia for 2019-2020 and on its Executive Board. She is a member of the Judicial Council of Georgia and appointed by the Governor as a judicial representative to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. Judge Scales has been engaged in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Law throughput her legal career, having served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the Division of Family and Children Services and a former Children’s Advocate. Judge Scales has received honors and awards for her dedicated service and commitment to children and families.
Presiding Judge Wenona C. Belton
Judge Wenona Clark Belton was sworn in as Judge on January 10, 2020, after having served the court as an Associate Judge since July 2013. Prior to her judicial service, she served the Court as an agency attorney; Clerk of Court; Assistant Public Defender; and Judicial Staff Attorney. Judge Belton is a Child Welfare Law Specialist, having been certified through the National Association of Counsel for Children/American Bar Association in 2012. Judge Belton serves on the Board of Directors of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. She serves on a number of committees within the State Bar of Georgia, Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and is a member of various voluntary bar associations.
Judge Belton earned a Juris Doctorate Degree from the Georgia State University College of Law and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. A former foster parent, Judge Belton has served as a CASA volunteer and Volunteer Lawyer, Domestic Violence Project, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation.
Presiding Judge Renata D. Turner
Judge Renata D. Turner is a graduate of Therrell High School and the University of Georgia where she earned a B.A. in psychology. She worked for five years as a caseworker for the Fulton County Department of Family and Children Services before entering law school in 1986. She received her Juris Doctorate from the Southern California University School of Law. Judge Turner became the Assistant Dean of Pro Bono and Experiential Learning at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 2013. While at John Marshall, Judge Turner annually organized a Youth and the Law Summit and a Re-Entry Forum for formerly incarcerated citizens. In partnership with the court, she continues to hold an annual Youth and the Law Summit. Judge Turner is the lead judge for the School Pathways Project, a collaboration between the court and the Atlanta and Fulton school systems to close the school-to-prison pipeline. Judge Turner also presides over CHOICES, the court’s teen drug court. She was recently admitted as Center for Juvenile Justice Reform Fellow for her work with school-justice partnerships. Judge Turner has served as vice chair of the Fulton County Child Attorney’s board; a committee advisor for the Supreme Court of Georgia’s Committee on Justice for Children; and an executive board member of the Charles Weltner Family Law Inn of Court. She served as president of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys in 1997. Judge Turner is currently a member of the National Council of Family and Juvenile Court Judges, a member of the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution, and serves as a board member of the Andrew and Walter Young YMCA.
Presiding Judge Christopher W. Yokom
Judge Christopher W. Yokom earned his undergraduate degree from Mercer University and a Juris Doctorate from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. Judge Yokom first joined Fulton County Juvenile Court as a juvenile probation officer in 1997 and has since held a variety of legal and administrative positions before being appointed to the bench in 2017 as an Associate Judge. In 2013, Judge Yokom was named Fulton County Court Employee of the Year by the Atlanta Bar Association. In 2005, Judge Yokom was named Child Advocate Attorney of the Year by the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar. Judge Yokom is a registered mediator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution and a member of the Atlanta Bar Association as well as the Stonewall Bar Association. He was appointed as a presiding judge in January, 2020.
Associate Judge Phillip Jackson
Associate Judge Phillip Jackson received his B.B.A. degree from the University of Georgia. He received his M.B.A. from Georgia State University. He received his Juris Doctorate from the Georgia State University College of Law in 1988. Judge Jackson was admitted to State Bar of Georgia on June 12, 1989. He was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar Association on April 6, 1990. Judge Jackson was appointed to the Fulton County Juvenile Court bench on June 12, 2009.
Associate Judge Coy J. Johnson Jr.
Associate Judge Coy J. Johnson earned his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Georgia School of Law. He became a member of the Georgia State Bar in 2003. Judge Johnson was appointed to the Juvenile Court bench in February 2020.
Associate Judge Shalanda M. J. Miller
Associate Judge Shalanda M. J. Miller received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her Juris Doctorate from Emory University School of Law. Judge Miller previously worked in the City of Atlanta Department of Law as the Deputy Division Chief for Litigation and Claims. She also served as an Associate Fulton County Magistrate Judge and as a Staff Attorney in Clayton and Fulton counties. Judge Miller was appointed to the Juvenile Court bench in January 2020.