Originally created 11/29/06

Judicial search to start

The three-month process begins this week to fill the full-time Richmond County Juvenile Court judgeship left vacant this month when Judge Herbert E. Kernaghan Jr. died.

As required by state law, an ad seeking applicants for the opening will be published Thursday, and again in December and January in newspapers in Augusta and Columbia and Burke counties.

Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet, who will become the circuit's chief judge after Jan. 1, said Tuesday that the eight Superior Court judges will discuss the ground rules for the selection procedure at their next meeting.

Juvenile judges in Georgia are appointed by the Superior Court judges of the circuit instead of elected by voters.

Judge Kernaghan, who died Nov. 13, was appointed to a four- year term in June 2004. His replacement will complete that term. The last time the juvenile court judicial appointments came up, Judge Duncan D. Wheale pushed for a new approach that included taking applications, expanding the applicant pool and requiring questionnaires and interviews. The ideas were rejected and the judges, by majority vote, selected Judge Kernaghan to fill the full-time position and Williams Sams, Doug Flanagan and Preston Lewis to fill the part-time positions.

Judge Overstreet said the three part-time judges are covering juvenile court in Richmond, Columbia and Burke counties. Because the Juvenile Court judges are appointed on a circuitwide basis, as opposed to just one particular county, there is no problem with jurisdiction.

If the workload becomes overwhelming before a replacement can be chosen, the Superior Court judges or the Juvenile Court judges can temporarily appoint an attorney to help out, Judge Overstreet said.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.


Attorneys can apply for the Richmond County Juvenile Court judgeship by sending a rsum to Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet, 320 Municipal Building, 530 Greene St., Augusta, GA 30901.


- At least 30 years old

- A Georgia resident for the past three years

- Practicing attorney for at least five years


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