Judge W. Fletcher Sams of Fayetteville selected as district administrative judge

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Superior Court Judge Fletcher Sams. File photo from August 2018.
Superior Court Judge Fletcher Sams. File photo from August 2018.

For the first time in over 20 years, the Griffin Judicial Circuit will have representation on the Judicial Council for the State of Georgia. The Honorable W. Fletcher Sams was sworn in on Monday, July 6, as Administrative Judge for the Sixth Judicial District of Georgia.

Judge Sams, who will continue to serve the Griffin Circuit as Superior Court Judge, will now have a voice in statewide judicial policies and decisions.

The Sixth Judicial District is comprised of 14 counties that include the four counties of the Griffin Circuit: Fayette, Spalding, Pike and Upson counties. Judge Sams was selected to serve by the 32 superior court and senior judges of the District.

The three current Griffin Judicial Circuit superior court judges are shown in a photo from 2016. (L-R) Judges Fletcher Sams, Charles Ballard and Christopher Edwards. Photo/Submitted.
Three of the current Griffin Judicial Circuit superior court judges are shown in a photo from 2016. (L-R) Judges Fletcher Sams, Charles Ballard and Christopher Edwards. Photo/Submitted.

“I am extremely honored and humbled by the faith placed in me by the distinguished judges of this diverse District, especially in light of our current judicial emergency,” Judge Sams stated. “I am thrilled to be in a position to provide additional service to the citizens of our District and State in advising and voting on statewide policy. I sincerely solicit everyone’s prayers for the Judicial Council members and for myself that we may serve with wisdom and common sense.”

The selection of Judge Sams drew praise throughout the circuit.

The Honorable Christopher C. Edwards, Chief Judge of the Griffin Circuit, stated, “We all heartily congratulate our friend Judge Sams on distinguishing the Griffin Circuit judiciary with his election by the judges of five judicial circuits to the Judicial Council of Georgia, established by law to make important decisions on the operation of all Georgia’s courts. We know Judge Sams will serve with his characteristic wisdom and distinction in guiding us through this most challenging of times for courts.”

“For years I have known that we have something very special in Judge Sams,” said fellow Superior Court Judge Scott Ballard. “It will be fun to watch as the entire state begins to benefit, as we have locally for decades, from his insight and leadership.”

Superior Court Judge Ben J. Miller Jr.
Superior Court Judge Ben J. Miller Jr.

Spalding County Clerk of Superior Court Debbie Brooks said, “The selection of Judge Sams for Administrative Judge of the Sixth District is an excellent choice. His hard work, honesty and dedication has been vital to the Griffin Judicial Circuit. It is a success that is well deserved.”

Superior Court Judge Ben Miller agreed. “I cannot think of a better time to have Judge Fletcher Sams as our representative on the statewide Judicial Council, as well as our Sixth District Administrative Judge. His thoughtful, common-sense approach to the law will be an asset to help guide all of Georgia’s courts.”

Griffin Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Ben Coker. Photo/Submitted.
Griffin Judicial Circuit Judge Ben Coker. Photo/Submitted.

“I join my fellow colleagues,” Superior Court Judge Ben Coker added, “in congratulating Judge Fletcher Sams on his election to the Statewide Judicial Council and as Chief Administrative Judge for the Sixth Judicial District. His experience and knowledge will certainly be an asset for all of Georgia’s courts.”

Upson County Sheriff Dan Kilgore stated, “What a great honor. I’m happy for Judge Sams. I’ve known him in the capacities of employer, friend and Superior Court Judge for more than thirty years. I’m confident that his integrity and intellect will serve the Sixth District well. He is an exceptional judge and an honorable man. His work ethic is to be commended. This is a most well-deserved honor.”

Fayette County Clerk of Superior Court Sheila Studdard added, “Judge Fletcher Sams is the perfect individual to represent the Sixth District. He is the embodiment of hard work, fairness and integrity. During this very difficult time, I am comforted by knowing Judge Sams is at the collective helm of Georgia’s judiciary. His experience and wisdom will be applied to many decisions that ultimately affect all of our tomorrows for the better. Thank you Judge Sams for your dedication and service.”

“What an honor to be selected to such an important position,” Pike County Sheriff Jimmy Thomas said. “Congratulations, Judge Sams.”

Finally, Teresa Harper, Upson County Clerk of Superior Court, summed it up. “I have had the pleasure to work with Judge Sams since 2010. Judge Sams defines what it means to be a judge. He is wise, humble and fair. He sets the bar high and encourages us to all be the best we can be at our professions with integrity and respect. We are all so proud that he has been chosen to represent our circuit as Administrative Judge for the Sixth District.”