Flovilla moving to abolish municipal court

The city of Flovilla wants to abolish its municipal court.

A resolution approved by the Flovilla City Council Sept. 17 authorizes city officials to ask the Georgia General Assembly to adopt legislation striking the section of the city charter that establishes the court.

The section of the city charter titled “Judicial Branch” was adopted in 1993.

According to the resolution, city officials will ask state Rep. Susan Holmes, R-Monticello, to introduce the bill to amend the city charter. Holmes represents the area of Butts County where Flovilla is located.

City officials say the municipal court is no longer necessary and has become costly over the past several years.

Flovilla’s municipal court, like Jenkinsburg’s, is operated through an agreement with the city of Jackson. The same municipal court clerk is appointed by each entity, and court sessions are held in the city of Jackson’s Municipal Court Building on South Mulberry Street.

Flovilla and Jenkinsburg, in turn, pay a share of the costs of operating the court, including wages and other fees.

Flovilla City Clerk Annie Mitchell said so far this calendar year, the city of Flovilla has incurred $3,598 in costs associated with its court, and has taken in only $1,030 in revenues.

The revenues the city receives from its municipal court haven’t covered expenses since at least 2014, according to Mitchell’s figures. Over the four years from 2014 to 2017, the city paid out $33,893 in expenses and received $28,694 in revenues — a $5,199 loss over that time.

The court’s biggest loss in the past four years came in 2015, when the city paid $6,760 and took in $4,080.

Exactly when the court would be abolished would be established in the bill passed by the legislature. The General Assembly convenes for its next session in January.

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Michael Davis has been the editor of the Jackson Progress-Argus since 2010. He previously worked as an editor and reporter for the Henry Daily Herald and Clayton News-Daily.