Cobb County Juvenile Court is an independent juvenile court organized under Chapter 11 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia. The Court is dedicated to serving the residents of Cobb County by hearing all cases involving allegations of dependency of children under the age of eighteen, or unruly conduct, delinquency, or traffic violations concerning children under the age of seventeen found within its jurisdictions. If, after adjudication, a child is found to be in need of treatment, rehabilitation or supervision to safely remain in the community, the court will provide access to high quality, appropriate treatment programs whenever feasible.
The mission of the Juvenile Court of Cobb County is to ensure that children whose well-being is threatened shall be assisted and protected and restored, if possible, as secure law-abiding members of society; that each child coming within the jurisdiction of the court shall receive, preferably in the child's own home, the care, guidance, and control that will be conducive to the child's welfare and the best interests of the state; and that when a child is removed from the control of his/her parents the court shall secure for the child care as nearly as possible equivalent to that which his/her parents should have given the child.
The Judges of the Cobb County Juvenile Court are appointed to a four year term by the Superior Court Judges. A judge must be at least 30 years of age, a citizen of the state for at least three years, and have practiced law for at least five years.
The judges are required to attend a minimum number of hours of specialized training each year to maintain eligibility for the position. The training is certified by the Council of Juvenile Court Judges of Georgia.
Cases are assigned to the four Judges by the Clerk of Court upon the filing of a Juvenile Complaint. Though there are exceptions, once a child is assigned to a judge, all of that child's subsequent complaints will also be assigned to that judge.
James R. Whitfield - Juvenile Court Judge
Joanne E. Elsey - Juvenile Court Judge
Jeffrey D. Hamby - Presiding Juvenile Court Judge
Amber N. Patterson - Juvenile Court Judge
Starlyn Simmons - Judicial Administrative Specialist to Judge Elsey and Judge Patterson
Donelle Keaton - Judicial Administrative Specialist to Judge Whitfield and Judge Hamby
Laura Murphree - Director of Court Services
Shonell Sfreddo - Clerk of Court
Joshua Weeks - Administration Unit
Greg White - Probation Unit
Carlene Redmond - Restorative Justice and Special Programs Unit