On Friday, December 2, 2022, Douglas County Probate Court Judge Christina Peterson, through her undersigned counsel, filed a motion to dismiss 42 of 50 counts of ethics charges filed against her. The case is styled as ‘In the Matter of Judge Christina Peterson’ with case number #S22Z0180.

In July 2021, and again in September 2021, the Judicial Qualifications Commission filed formal charges against Judge Peterson. Also in September 2021, the Investigative Panel filed a motion pursuant to JQC Rule 15 (C) to suspend Judge Peterson pending the final outcome of the JQC’s investigation of the judge on the ground that she posed a substantial and immediate threat of serious harm to the public and the administration of justice.

In an order issued on October 15, 2021, the Supreme Court denied the first motion without prejudice.

On July 19, 2022, the JQC’s Investigative Panel filed a second motion for interim suspension of Judge Peterson, who has garnered more than 50 counts of alleged judicial misconduct. According to the motion, Judge Peterson’s conduct amounts to willful misconduct in office, willful and persistent failure to perform the duties of office, habitual intemperance, and is prejudicial to the administration of justice.

On August 23, 2022, the Supreme Court of Georgia turned down the suspension request, stating that “while some of the charges are relatively minor, many are quite significant. If proved they may well warrant severe discipline. But we see no reason why that proof should not have to be offered in the ordinary course.”

The Douglas County Probate Judge has now filed motions to dismiss 42 of the 50 charges of alleged judicial misconduct brought against her. Judge Peterson’s attorney also filed motions to dismiss claims in at least 11 ethics complaints for failing to state a cause of action and motions for judgment on the pleadings with prejudice or, in the alternative, motion for summary judgment.

The motion states:

“The Commission is unlawfully attempting to regulate and punish the Respondent for alleged pre-judicial conduct; that is conduct which does not involve the performance of a judicial function or when she was a judge.”

The motion goes on:

“None of the following charges allege, nor is there clear and convincing evidence establishing: a) the willful misconduct of the Respondent performing her functions of the office of a judge; b) the willful and persistent failure to perform the duties of the office of a judge; c) the habitual intemperance as a judge; or d) Respondent’s conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude; or e) that the Respondent’s conduct was prejudicial to the administration of justice which brings the judicial office into disrepute. This conclusion is inescapable because, without dispute, the alleged conduct did not occur or get completed when the Respondent was a judge.”

The motion continues:

“The following charges and respective counts should be dismissed for failure to state a cause of action or judgment on the pleadings entered or summary judgment granted in favor of Respondent.”

The Judge earned a law degree from the Wisconsin School of Law in 2023.
The Judge’s Courtroom is at 8700 Hospital Drive 3rd Floor, Judicial Side in Douglasville, and can be reached at 770-920-7249. https://www.celebratedouglascounty.com/219/Probate-Court

A copy of the original filing can be found here.