John Mock of Glennville has been appointed by Judge Robert L. Russell, III, as Chief Magistrate Judge of Tattnall County, replacing James “Eddie” Anderson.
Anderson was arrested for Terroristic Threats and Violation of Oath of a Public Officer on Monday, July 25, 2022. Mock was sworn in shortly after 1 p.m. on Tuesday. He will serve out the remainder of Anderson’s term, ending in 2024.
Mock, 54, worked under Anderson for four years as magistrate judge. While this was an unexpected appointment, Mock is excited to finish out this term.
“I look forward to serving the citizens of Tattnall County,” Mock said. “I appreciate the confidence everyone has had in me to fill this position.”
Mock graduated from Glennville High School in 1986. He was a Code Enforcement Officer in Tattnall County for close to nine years and owns a poultry farm, John Mock Farms, in Glennville.
He has been married to Barbie Mock for 32 years. They have two children, Emily Gallegos and Christopher Mock.
Mock is a member of the Reidsville, Glennville, and Tattnall County Fire Departments. He is the Master of Philadelphia Lodge 73 in Glennville and a previous master and current member of Rising Sun Lodge 32 in Reidsville.
The chief magistrate assigns cases, schedules court sessions and appoints other magistrates (with the consent of the superior court judges of the judicial circuit). The chief magistrate is elected and part-time magistrates are appointed by the Board of Commissioners.
Under the 1983 Constitution, justice of the peace courts and small claims courts became Magistrate Courts. Magistrate Court jurisdiction includes civil claims of $15,000 or less, dispossessory writs, county ordinance violations, misdemeanor deposit account fraud (bad checks), preliminary hearings, issuance of summons, arrest warrants and search warrants.
To qualify as a magistrate, an individual must have resided in the county for at least one year preceding his or her term of office, be 25 years of age, and have a high school diploma. Other qualifications may be imposed by local legislation. There are 159 chief magistrates and 346 magistrates in Georgia.
Magistrates may grant bail in some criminal cases in which the setting of bail is not exclusively reserved to a judge of another court. If a defendant submits a written request for a jury trial, cases may be removed to Superior Court.
No jury trials are conducted in Magistrate Court; civil cases are often argued by the parties themselves, rather than by attorneys.