Fulton Family Court, Judges and Resoures

The Superior Court of Fulton County is unique to all the 159 counties in Georgia. Recently moved from a pilot project of the Supreme Court to a permanent status, the Fulton County Supreme Court manages Family Court with different approaches and different rules for handling family law matters.

In every other county, every Superior Court judge hears predominantly felony criminal cases, cases pertaining to land and family law cases. Only Fulton County Judges are allowed to partition off three of their Judges, Judge Barwick, Judge Tipton Lane and Judge Markle, to hear only family law matters. This makes for a very efficient and streamlined system.

Another major difference is that, in all other counties, family law matters are party driven, which means that the parties decide when events such as hearings occur. In Fulton Superior Court, the Court sets most hearings and they are mandatory. You will have a 30 Day Status hearing, and, if still needed, a 60 Day Status hearing and a 120 Day Status hearing.

At these hearings you don't argue before the assigned judge, rather you present your present circumstance and needs to a Judicial Officer, an attorney appointed by the Judge to assist in moving the family cases along fairly expeditiously. The JO's help cut to the chase and bring a case to a prompt conclusion.

Like most other counties, mediation is required. Mediation is $75 for each party for the first 4 hours.

The Honorable Bensonetta Tipton Lane Lane
Superior Court of Fulton County
Justice Center Tower
185 Central Ave., SW
Atlanta, GA 30303

Judicial Assistant: Chiquita Powell 404-612-8535

Staff Attorney: Shatorree Bates 404-612-8537

Case Manager: Bobbie Walker 404-612-8538

Court Reporter: Melanie Reed 404-612-4199

  • New York University, B.A.
  • University of Massachusetts, M.A.
  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1976

Judge Lane was born in Washington, DC and graduated high school in Connecticut. She began her legal career with The Law Project, a public interest law firm, and spent 1982-1993 in solo practice.  Throughout her legal career she has concentrated on Civil Rights and Employment Law.  Judge Lane was appointed to the Fulton County Superior Court in 1995.  She is a founder of the Georgia Black Women Attorneys and the Centennial Justice Project.

The Honorable Todd Markle Judge Markle
Superior Court of Fulton County
Justice Center Tower
185 Central Ave., SW
Atlanta, GA 30303

Judicial Asst.: Joy Howard-Smith 404-613-4378

Staff Attorney: Amy Abrames 404-613-4538

Case Manager: Caretha German 404-613-4181

Court Reporter: Iona Taylor 404-613-4289

  • The University of Georgia, A.B., 1986
  • Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University, J.D., 1989

A lifelong Georgian, Judge Markle has made his home in Fulton County since 1990.  From 1989-2010 he was in private practice with several different firms, where he specialized in civil litigation.

From 2010 until his appointment to the bench in 2011, Judge Markle was executive counsel to Governor Nathan Deal.  He was elected to a four-year term in 2012.

Judge Markle is a member of the Rotary Club of Buckhead and is an Elder at Peachtree Presbyterian Church.  He and his wife are the parents of two children.

The Honorable Jane C. Barwick

Superior Court of Fulton County
Justice Center Tower
185 Central Ave., SW
Atlanta, GA 30303

Judicial Assistant: Gloria Waldren 404-613-4185

Staff Attorney: Megan Miller 404-613-4187

Case Manager: Connie White 404-613-4188

Court Reporter: Nannette Hull 404-613-0349

  • Wesleyan University, B.A., 1976
  • University of Georgia School of Law, J.D., 1979
  • Order of the Barristers, Columbia Theological Seminary, M.Div., 2005.

Judge Barwick practiced for two of Atlanta's most respected law firms-Hurt, Richardson, Garner, Todd & Cadenhead, and Swift, Currie, McGhee and Hiers for over 14 years. In 1995, Jane started her own firm concentrating in family law. Judge Barwick closed her practice and began attending Columbia Theological Seminary, where she eventually earned her Masters in Divinity degree.

In April, 2012, Judge Barwick was sworn in as a Fulton County Family Division Judicial Officer and Magistrate Judge. In that role she heard and decided hundreds of cases dealing with family law, family violence restraining orders, and stalking protective orders. 

Family Division Magistrates and Judicial Officers

Gary M. Alembik

Alison K. Arce

Sally Cobb Cannon

Margaret (Meg) Dorsey

Divida Gude

Allyson R. Pitts

Family Division Staff

Tracy B. Johnson     Director                            404-612-0505

Jermain Frilot          Child Support Case Mgr.  404-613-4553

Cassandra Gilmore   Intake Case Mgr.            404-612-0508

Brandon Glover        FVIP Coordinator            404-613-4579

Terry Neal               Social Services Coord.     404-612-0509

Theresa Strozier       Social Services Coord.    404-612-0506

Angela Taylor           Social Services Coord.    404-612-0510

Shawenika Vinson     Family Violence Mgr.      404-612-8655

Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF) Domestic Violence Project

Safe Families Office   404-612-4316

AVLF's Safe Families Office works in conjunction with Partnership Against Domestic Violence to help victims of domestic violence devise a safety plan and consider what protection the law can offer. 

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