Records Restriction Clinic

Wilcox County, Georgia
August 20, 2022

by Noelle Lagueux-Alvarez, Esq.

One of Wilcox County’s native sons, Judge Shawn Rhodes—who serves as the County’s Probate Court Judge, Magistrate Court Judge, and as the Municipal Court Judge for two cities—addressed attendees at the start of the clinic and welcomed the volunteers as “water bearers”  to this legal desert where, other than Judge Rhodes, there is only one part-time attorney.
Four lawyers with the Georgia Justice Project and organizers from the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts staffed this free Record Restriction Clinic to allow those eligible to restrict their record, which for many people means access to employment and better housing.
Judge Rhodes and Cobb County Magistrate Court Judge, Tabitha Ponder, who also serves as a contracted staff attorney for the Judicial Council’s Access to Justice Committee, were hands-on for every moment of this clinic—setting up tables and chairs, helping to coordinate with the sheriff’s  office to obtain proper records, and keeping everyone’s spirits high—ensuring its success.
Lawyers from the Georgia Justice Project advise attendees.
Many South Georgian community partners attended to offer wrap-around services.

We asked attendees why they came to this Record Restriction Clinic.  In other words, we asked what this clinic meant for them.

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