It is the mission of the State Court of Henry County to do justice, as nearly as possible, to all persons coming before our Court and to the community at large.
Justice is both substantive and procedural; that is, justice encompasses both the judgment rendered in a matter coming before the Court, and the process used to reach that judgment.
All personnel of the Court are important to doing justice. Each officer and employee of the Court represents the Court - and, indeed, our entire court system - to the person using the Court's services. Many of these persons will never again have any contact with the justice system, so it is important that the impression they receive from our actions be a good one. Their future faith in our system of justice may well be determined by how they are treated here.
The members of the public using this Court are important. They are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. Those who are litigants in civil matters consider those matters to be important, and we should treat those matters as important. This does not mean that we always agree with those persons as to the level of importance to be accorded their case; sometimes they will expect us to act as if their case is the only one we are handling. Those persons are bound to be disappointed; yet and still, we will give those matters due consideration, courtesy and care.
Those members of the public who are defendants in traffic citations or criminal matters are important. They are innocent until proven guilty. Many of them are taxpayers who help pay our salaries. All of them are entitled to the rights guaranteed by the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions. We will afford them every courtesy we ourselves would expect if placed in their position.
The jurors who serve in our Court are important. Without them, our system of justice would not work. They are here involuntarily and at no small inconvenience. Some serve gladly, others begrudgingly. We will afford them the very highest level of service possible. Their time shall be respected, and their needs shall be met to the extent it is within our power to do so.
The attorneys who practice in our Court are important. Like us, they are professionals, and will treat them as such. They represent members of the public, and their role is critical to the proper operation of our Court.
The law enforcement officers who use our Court are important. Like us, they do a difficult and little appreciated job. They, also, are professionals.
We will strive to reduce the amount of wasted time and frustration experienced by everyone using our Court. We want persons using this Court to feel that they have been fairly heard and well treated. We want them to admire the smooth, professional operation of this Court.
From time to time we will encounter persons who will not appreciate our efforts to do justice, no matter how hard we try. In those cases, the worst thing we can do is allow those persons to interfere with our efforts to do justice, both to them and others. We will do our jobs and meet our goals of doing justice (including professional treatment of those difficult persons), overcoming obstruction and unpleasant behavior from others.
The personnel of this Court are important. The smooth and harmonious operation of this Court requires the cooperation and mutual respect of the Judge's office, the Clerk's office, the Solicitor's office, the Court Reporter, and the Sheriff's office. Each will work to facilitate the proper functioning of the others. We will work together to make this Court a pleasant place to work while at the same time meeting our goals. Conflicts will undoubtedly arise; they will be dealt with away from public view. No member of the public should ever see a person connected with this Court treating other members of the public with disrespect.