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Cumming attorney tapped for Forsyths new associate magistrate
tallant
Kevin Tallant, joined here by wife Heather and son Dalton, was sworn in Monday as new associate magistrate for the Magistrate Court of Forsyth County. Administering the oath was Probate Court Judge Lynwood D. Jordan Jr. - photo by Kelly Whitmire

CUMMING — A Cumming attorney was sworn in Monday as a new associate magistrate for the Magistrate Court of Forsyth County.

It is the first judicial appointment for Kevin Tallant, who is with the firm Miles, Hanford and Tallant.

“For as long as I’ve wanted to be a lawyer, I’ve also wanted to someday serve in the judiciary,” Tallant said. “It’s a huge professional honor for me to be able to do that.

“I am just unbelievably excited to get to serve the community in that capacity.”

According to the county website, Magistrate Court has jurisdiction over: civil claims of $15,000 or less; distress warrants and dispossessory writs; county ordinance violations; bad checks; preliminary hearings; summons, arrest warrants and search warrants; and an expanded jurisdiction of certain misdemeanors.

It may also grant bail in cases where the setting of such is not exclusively reserved to a judge of another court.

Tallant said the impact of his new duties on his attorney workload likely will be minimal.

“I’ll still be in civil practice. I’ll still be handling all the cases I normally handle,” Tallant said. “I will no longer be a prosecutor.

“You’re not allowed as a judge to be a prosecutor. So any prosecutorial duties that I’ve ever had for any of the governments that we represent, whether there, here or elsewhere, I have to give up all of those.”

Forsyth Chief Magistrate Walker Bramblett said Tallant’s position is a new one, noting that the court has grown in recent years after adding associate magistrates Chris Willis, who was sworn in in early 2015, and Phill Bettis, who was added in 2014.

“We’ve been fortunate. The last three years we’ve had three new positions created, which we desperately needed,” Bramblett said. “Our growth was completely stifled during the recession. Just like all of the other county offices, we had to cut the budget every year.”

Bramblett said the court strives to find the best attorneys, especially those who intend to one day be judges.

“We want the best, the most highly qualified people that we can get here in Magistrate Court,” he said. “These are people that want to be judges.

“We want the judges in Forsyth County to be the cream of the crop, and I think that’s what we’ve been doing in all three of the recent appointments.”