Juvenile Court Operations Update

  • Posted on: 14 May 2020
  • By: Juvenile Court ...

The Fulton County Juvenile Court has joined the the Supreme Court of Georgia in the Second Order Extending the Declaration of the Statewide Judicial Emergency to June 12, 2020, issued by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia on May 11, 2020 and the Atlanta Judicial Circuit in an Executive Order declaring a Judicial Emergency in Fulton County, issued on March 13, 2020 by the Chief Judge of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit.

The Fulton County Juvenile Court will only conduct essential hearings, including Preliminary Protective Hearings (PPH) and Detention Hearings for detained youth and children/youth who have been removed from the custody of their parents/legal guardians. Detention Hearings and PPH's will be calendared at 10 am on Mondays and Thursdays and will be conducted via video conference in accordance with Rule 12.2 of the Uniform Rules of Juvenile Court and the Temporary Order Clarifying/Amending Juvenile Court Video Conferencing Rules as issued by the Supreme Court of Georgia on March 31, 2020. This hearing schedule will continue until the Judicial Emergency Order ends.

Judges will preside over the Detention Hearings and PPH's on a rotating schedule and may physically be in the court for such hearings. All other parties are expected to participate in hearings via video-conference or teleconference. If a party does not have adequate equipment, telephone or other device to access the virtual hearings, the party will be provided access to the virtual hearings upon contacting the Fulton County Juvenile Court at (404) 612-4402 or (404) 612-4419. Where the judge is presiding remotely over a video-conference, notice shall be given to the public and the parties that a proceeding will occur wholly by remote video-conference.

No non-essential hearings will take place prior to the statewide judicial emergency order being lifted unless they can be conducted by video or teleconferencing. Instead, all non-essential hearings shall be rescheduled to a date beyond June 12, 2020 and shall be continued pursuant to the extension of the statewide judicial emergency order. Parties in all non-essential matters shall receive notice via U.S. mail with their new court date. Attorneys may contact the chambers of the judge assigned to their case with questions.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office shall direct DFCS Case Managers, attorneys, parties, and any individuals who appear at the court in person seeking public access to essential hearings to use the telephone located at the Receptionist's Desk in the lobby of Fulton County Juvenile Court. In order to gain access to the hearing, those individuals should contact the Intake Unit at (404) 612-4419 and follow the directives as provided.

The Fulton County Sheriff's Office shall direct private citizens who appear at the court in person for other legal business to the telephone located at the Receptionist's Desk in the lobby of the Fulton County Juvenile Court to contact (404) 612-4419, prior to entering any other department of the court.

The Intake Unit
The Intake Office is open to the public for limited filings during the hours of 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, until further notice. The Intake Unit operates on a 24 hour basis. Please contact the Intake Unit at (404) 612-4419 for instructions on submitting documents or pleadings electronically prior to visiting the courthouse in person.

Court Administration
Court Administration employees are working remotely and will be available to support Juvenile Court via email and phone as needed. Please use Court Administration's main line: (404) 613-4559.

Probation Services
All probation officers will be available and managing their caseloads via telephone. Probation Supervisors/Staff shall only submit cases alleging severe probation violations, potentially placing children or the public at risk, to the Court with requests for arrest warrants. For more information, please contact Samuel Washington, Assistant Director of Probation Services, at samuel.washington@fultoncountyga.gov or (404) 613-4804.

Behavioral Health
The Behavioral Health Unit is available to assist families in connecting with providers, addressing psychiatric emergencies (if a child is a danger to self/others) and supporting youth/families on its Mental Health Caseload. Listed below are important numbers for families in crisis:

GA Crisis/Access Helpline: 800-715-4225
Suicide Hotline: 800-273-8255
Child Protective Services: 855-422-4453
Hughes Spalding: 404-785-5437
Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233

For more information regarding the Fulton County Juvenile Behavioral Health Unit, please contact: Shelly Spizuoco, Director of Behavioral Health Services at: Shelly.spizuoco@fultoncountyga.gov or (404) 613-4637.

Court and Family Services
Accountability Courts: All regularly scheduled in-person treatment court sessions, including HOPE, CHOICES and PARTNERS are suspended until after the Judicial Emergency Order is lifted, however, virtual hearings may be conducted. Please contact Tiffany Barclay for more information. New referrals will not be processed until the Court resumes normal business operations. For more information regarding the Fulton County Juvenile Accountability Court Program, please contact Tiffany Barclay, Email: Tiffany.Barclay@fultoncountyga.gov; Phone: (404) 964-7293.

The CHINS Unit will continue to provide case management services for ungovernable, truancy, educational neglect and runaway cases. New referrals will be accepted from Intake via email to miriam.kirby@fultoncountyga.gov and will be assigned to CHINS coordinators. CHINS cases that require more intensive consultation will be referred to the Behavioral Health Unit after assessment by CHINS coordinators.

Citizen Review Panel: All panels are suspended and will be rescheduled to a date beyond the end of the Judicial Emergency Court Order.

Education Advocates: Education advocates will work remotely and be available for educational video conferences as well as Accountability Court video/tele conferences.
Kimberly Washington, Supervisor: Kimberly.Washington@fultoncountyga.gov
Paula Rafferty: Mobile (404) 664-7823, Paula.Rafferty@fultoncountyga.gov
Rita Madden: Mobile: (678) 427-5719, Rita.Madden@fultoncountyga.gov

Guardians ad Litem (GAL): A GAL shall attend Detention Hearings and Dependency Preliminary Protective Hearings (PPH), as needed and in the absence of a parent. Contact Kimberly Washington, Supervisor, for more information, Kimberly.Washington@fultoncountyga.gov.

Mediation: All mediation sessions are suspended and will be rescheduled once the Judicial Emergency Order ends.


Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA): Atlanta CASA has suspended in-court support but is continuing to provide regular (modified) services to foster care youth during this judicial emergency. Please contact Atlanta CASA with questions or concerns at (404) 613-4720 or via email: director@atlantacasa.org.

Truancy Intervention Project (TIP): TIP is updating the website with up to the minute resource links for education, legal and basic need resources and planning for virtual life skills groups with TIP youth via Zoom. For additional information, visit TIP's website www.truancyproject.org or contact Sarah Babcock at sbabcock@truancyproject.org.

youthSpark: youthSpark continues to provide services to juvenile court youth via virtual support groups, connecting youth to resources, educational support and crisis intervention. For general questions, please call (404) 612-4628. To make a referrals, send an email to referrals@youth-spark.org.