A Day in the Life of a Magistrate: Judge Bobby Smith of Long County

This summer, JC/AOC staffer Robert Aycock spent a day with Long County Chief Magistrate Judge Bobby Smith and captured the experience in the pictures below.

Long County Courthouse
Judge Robert (Bobby) Smith

Judge Smith began by traveling to Tattnall County to fill in for Chief Magistrate Judge Eddie Anderson who had recused himself from a case. The single case on the calendar was a civil claims case. Unlike many cases heard in magistrate courts, both parties were represented by attorneys.

Judge Smith speaks to Judge Anderson prior to the trial.
Judge Smith listens to an attorney during a trial in Tattnall County.

After returning to Long County, Judge Smith begins on work on various administrative matters. Judge Smith is one of several Chief Magistrates that also serves as the Probate Judge for his county and must shift between the two duties throughout the day. In addition to his county duties, Judge Smith also serves as Vice-President of the Georgia Council of Magistrate Court Judges.

Judge Smith reviewing casefiles.

Later in the day, Judge Bobby Smith holds a bail hearing. Without the space or resources of larger counties, hearings such as these are held in a room adjacent to the judge’s office.

The room in which bail hearings are held. The door to the right opens into Judge Smith’s office.
Judge Smith at the desk he uses for bail hearings.

The day concluded with a tour of a recently closed school building which will be renovated into a new judicial complex. Judge Smith has been actively involved in designing the magistrate/probate offices for the new complex.