The Forsyth County Juvenile Court will now be run by the Forsyth County Superior Court after an administrative order was issued that dissolved the positions of court administrator and clerk.
According to the order, which was filed and went into effect May 16, administration of the juvenile court has been taken over by the Bell-Forsyth Judicial Circuit, while the clerk responsibilities “shall be reassigned to the Forsyth County Clerk of Superior and State Courts.”
Janice Davis, interim director of CASA of Forsyth County, a nonprofit that provides volunteer advocates to abused and neglected children and works closely with the court’s two judges, said neither she nor one she knows knew what prompted the change but that it has not affected any children or cases.
“Court is going on as normal. The children are being served,” she said.
The job of Rebecca Rusk, who served as both administrator and clerk of the juvenile court, was absorbed into two separate existing positions — Greg Allen is the clerk of Superior and State Courts, and Robin Rooks is administrator for the Bell-Forsyth Judicial Circuit.
Rusk had as recently as last week been preparing the court’s 2018 budget, asking for funds to improve the current building it is in on Lanier 400 Parkway or to possibly move to a new facility in coming years.
She attended the finance committee meeting with Juvenile Court Chief Judge J. Russell Jackson, who could not be reached by email as of press time Thursday.
Rooks said she and Allen have been working since the order was signed to “restructure the juvenile court.”
“We’ve just been over there observing and seeing how things operate,” Allen said.
Superior Court Chief Judge Jeffrey S. Bagley declined to comment on the reason for the order, which he signed with the two other Superior Court Judges David L. Dickinson and Philip C. Smith, deferring to the order itself. It states each juvenile court “shall be assigned and attached to the superior court of the county for administrative purposes,” as instructed by statute 15-11-54(a) of the Georgia Code.
Bagley said because of that statute, “we didn’t have to give reasons” for the order.
He said the statute is from 2014 and that Superior Court had been deferring to Juvenile Court on a day-to-day administrative basis.