Judge Scott Hinson, Effingham County’s Chief Magistrate, is announcing his intention to seek re-election for a second term in July’s non-partisan election.
Commonly referred to as "the people’s court," the Magistrate Court manages civil claims of $15,000 or less, landlord-tenant dispossessories and garnishments. Criminally, the Magistrate Court holds hearings on pre-warrant applications, good behavior bonds, county ordinance violations, first appearance, and bail consideration.
In just the last four years, the cost per citizen to operate the Magistrate Court has been reduced by an impressive 29 percent. Advancements in technology and clerical training has increased the efficiency of the court staff, implementation of a mediation program with regards to some criminal cases has given a higher rate of consensual success, and also aided in preventing addition burden on an over populated jail.
"It has been a true privilege to serve the citizens of Effingham County," said Judge Hinson. "One of my initial goals was to make this court as user friendly as possible, and I feel we have done that by easing the ability to file claims online, and having access to a majority of court forms on Effingham County’s Magistrate Court Web site."
Also, having an excellent working relationship with local law enforcement agencies has "given rise to opportunities for significant success for all departments involved," added Hinson.
A graduate of Mercer University, Judge Hinson serves as a member of the Council of Magistrate Court Judges, board member on the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program within the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit, and also board member for the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce.
"It is my desire to continue not only these endeavors, but maintain the Magistrate Court as a fair and impartial forum," Hinson said.
Judge Hinson is married to Sue Nell Hinson, a third grade teacher at Ebenezer Elementary. They are both members of Springfield United Methodist Church.
Election for non-partisan positions will be held July 31.