Cumberland County’s judicial commissioners will now be overseen by the county’s General Sessions Court judge. They will also fall under the county’s personnel policy rather than the circuit court clerk’s office policy.
The recommendation was suggested by the Judicial Commissioners Supervision Committee. In the past the judicial commissioners have been under the authority of the county sheriff, circuit court clerk, county mayor, general sessions judge and district attorney general.
“This is where we have always belonged, and it makes the most sense,” said Len Blevins, judicial commissioner supervisor.
A judicial commissioner is appointed by the chief legislative body of the county. There are judicial commissioners available 24 hours a day to issue arrest and search warrants and mittimus, aiding greatly in reducing the delay in presenting the arrestee before a magistrate. Their office is at the Cumberland County Justice Center.
There are a total of seven judicial commissioners. Blevins said there is one in training which will make a total of eight.
The supervisor, Blevins, will report to the judge and meet at least annually with the courtroom security committee and recommend judicial commissioners to the county commission.
The judge’s supervisory authority does not allow the judge to appoint, reappoint, or terminate judicial commissioners. However, the judge will give recommendations to the county commission regarding judicial commissioners appointments, re-appoinments and when terms should end.
Under the resolution, the general sessions judge will not recommend judicial commissioners for terms that exceed four years, with the initial appointment not exceeding one year.
The resolution was unanimously approved.