Local judges and attorneys are delighted with the news that DeKalb County will remain part of the 13th Judicial District and that the district itself will be left intact under a consensus plan unveiled Monday by Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey.
"It is certainly gratifying that our voices were heard by those in authority including the Lieutenant Governor and our representatives and state senator," said DeKalb County General Sessions and Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook, II who is also president of the local bar.
Under the plan, the 13th Judicial District will remain with no changes. The district includes Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, and White Counties.
A previous plan given consideration would have included DeKalb County in a new eight county district with Coffee, Cannon, Warren, Smith, Jackson, Trousdale, and Macon.
"I certainly want to thank our State Senator Mae Beavers and State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver for their input and support of our position," said Judge Cook. We had a great meeting with them recently and they were very responsive to our concerns about moving DeKalb County to a different judicial district," said Judge Cook.
"I also want to thank all of the bar members here for working diligently to let the powers that be know that we are exactly where we need to be. That we did not need to be moved to another judicial district. That it would have wreaked havoc on our people having to travel perhaps all the way to Coffee county up to the Kentucky line. So as it stands we're going to stay exactly where we are and keep the judges that we have," he said.
"I certainly want to thank our judges for their support. It would have been a whole lot easier on them if they lost DeKalb County and picked up Van Buren County because there's hardly any litigation that occurs in Van Buren County and there is quite a bit here. It just shows that our judges really consider DeKalb County as much home as they do their respective homes, which is primarily Putnam County for them although Judge Amy Hollars is from Overton County. She, Judge John Maddux, Judge Ronald Thurman, Judge David Patterson, and Judge Leon Burns, Jr. all worked diligently to keep DeKalb County with the 13th Judicial District. I certainly want to thank them," said Judge Cook
"We, the lawyers are the winners, but the real winners are the people of DeKalb County because we have absolutely the best judges in the state and all you have to do is go to another judicial district and you'll find that out," said Judge Cook. " The people of DeKalb County are clearly the winners in this. I noticed there are a few districts on the proposed map that have been changed. Perhaps those places had problems. I don't know. All I know is we didn't have one," he said.
The legislation adopting the plan must be approved by both the State House and Senate and signed by the Governor.