Musical chairs in the justice system as Cobb-connected officials get new appointments

photo of Cobb Superior Court building from the front with a blue sky with clouds in the background

Cobb is picking up two Superior Court judges who are very familiar to the county, and at the same time a former Cobb police chief and assistant chief deputy will be moving on to a statewide law enforcement appointment.

Vic Reynolds, who served as Cobb District Attorney and Chief Magistrate Judge, and then served as director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, was appointed to a judgeship in Cobb Superior Court, replacing Tain Kell, who retired May 1.

Michael Register was then appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp to fill the GBI director’s slot vacated by Reynolds.

Register had served as the Cobb Sheriff Office’s Assistant Chief Deputy, Cobb County Police Chief, and the Director of Public Safety.

Gov. Kemp also appointed Julie Adams Jacobs to Cobb Superior Court, replacing Mary Staley Clark, who also retired May 1. Jacobs has been with the Georgia Attorney General’s office since 2003.

She is no stranger to Cobb County either, and is a graduate of Leadership Cobb’s Class of 2019.

What is Cobb County Superior Court?

In Georgia, the Superior Court is one of three trial courts found in each judicial circuit. The other two trial courts are State Courts and Probate Courts.

If you watch TV or movie courtroom dramas you’ll be familiar with the most high-profile role of this particular court. Superior Court in Georgia would be the court where a murder trial would be conducted.

So the Cobb County Superior Court conducts felony trials.

But it also handles a number of other types of cases.

The Georgia Superior Courts website describes the varied functions as follows:

The Superior Courts of Georgia is a court of general jurisdiction handling both civil and criminal law actions. Superior Court Judges preside over cases involving misdemeanors, contract disputes, premises liability, and various other actions. In addition, the Superior Court has exclusive equity jurisdiction over all cases of divorce, title to land, and felonies involving jury trials, including death penalty cases.

How are Superior Court judges chosen?

Superior Court judges are elected for four-year terms in nonpartisan elections. If a judge resigns or retires the governor appoints a replacement to serve out the judge’s unexpired term.

The requirements to run for a Superior Court seat are that the candidate be at least thirty years old, has been a Georgia citizen for at least three years, and the candidate must have practiced law for at least seven years.