A Day in the Life of a Magistrate Court Judge: Judge Rebecca Pitts of Butts County

High Victorian Style built in 1898
Built by the same firm that did many other Georgia courthouses and Tech Tower.

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980
Magistrate Court Judge Rebbecca Pitts of Butts County
Judge Pitts at her desk looking over various items of business
Magistrate Judge Megan Kinsey meets with clerk Lauren Kersey

Most days begin with administrative work. As a smaller county, the magistrate court makes do with minimal staff. Chief Magistrate Pitts must cover a wide range of duties even manning the front desk when nobody else is available.

Judge Pitts reviews the civil calendar
Judge Pitts in court
Judge Pitts in court

Later in the morning, Judge Pitt heard a civil calendar. Today most hearings were for dispossessory proceedings. As in common in magistrate courts, many of the litigants did not have attorneys. Despite this, Judge Pitts works hard to make the complex court proceedings understandable to anyone before her.

Caption Judge Pitts discusses plans for the future judicial complex with Sheriff Long

Between calendars, Judge Pitts returns to her administrative duties. Today, Butts County Sheriff Gary Long brought over blueprints of the new Butts County Judicial Center for review.

Service to Butts County is a family tradition for Judge Pitts. Her uncle, Luther J. Washington served as the County Ordinary (now known as Probate Judge) and her mother, Vicki W. Johnston served both as probate clerk and later as the Probate Judge of the county. Prior to her retirement, Judge Johnston was able to swear her daughter in as Chief Magistrate after Judge Pitts won her first election. Judge Pitts continues to wear her mother’s judicial robe to this day.

Luther J. Washington