A hearing panel has unanimously decided to recommend the removal of Douglas County Probate Judge Christina Peterson following an investigation. Since assuming office in late 2020, the first-time judge has been under scrutiny in several investigations by FOX 5 I-Team.

Widespread Incompetence

The three-member panel of The Judicial Qualifications Commission’s three-member panel decided that Peterson displayed “systemic incompetence” due to her disregard for courthouse regulations, 

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mistreatment of courthouse staff, inappropriate social media posts, and repeated failure to fulfill her duties

The Incident

The panel was particularly alarmed by an incident where Peterson ordered the incarceration of a woman who was just trying to update her marriage certificate,

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The woman wanted her marriage certificate to reflect her biological fathers name. 

Days In Jail 

PJ Skelton served two days in jail from the 20-day sentence that was given for contempt,

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She was there until her husband was able to pay the $500 fine.

Excessive Response 

The panel wrote,  

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“Such a hasty and shockingly disproportionate reaction is the hallmark of (Peterson’s) intemperance.”

Unprecedented Ruling

This unprecedented move to remove Peterson follows for specific hearings that started in September 2023, 

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At which time Peterson was given the opportunity to testify and address her accusers. She faced 30 accusations of misconduct.

The Report

The report condemned Peterson for attempting to persuade her Homeowners Association (HOA) at a community gathering to resolve a lawsuit she had initiated, 

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despite being aware that the HOA already had legal representation.

Avoid responsibility

The panel wrote, 

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“(Peterson’s) attempts to avoid responsibility for these clear violations bordered on farcical, severely eroding her credibility with the Hearing Panel.”  


The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office expressed concerns that Judge Peterson ignored their directives by allowing a wedding after hours, 

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permitting entry without the presence of deputies.

Panic Button

On a separate occasion, 

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She hit the panic button when a deputy was delayed in escorting her to court, needlessly causing alarm among the security personnel.

Staff Scrutinized

Additionally, the report highlighted instances where county staff criticized her actions,

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it “quickly triggers allegations of obstructionism or even racism.”


“These communications and actions reveal a judge (Respondent) who publicly vilifies colleagues, 

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is quick to threaten them with unnecessary legal action, and generally projects a spiteful and vainglorious persona.”

Main Argument 

Peterson’s main defense was her limited experience as a judge, 

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Which she said had been addressed with more extensive training.


Despite this, 

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The panel was unconvinced by her explanation.

Instances Of Failure 

The report highlighted numerous where she failed to do her job,

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Resulting in unnecessary delays in processing petitions in her office.


The hearing panel claimed that Peterson was guilty of, 

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“systemic incompetence… (Judges) are expected to act in a manner that promotes the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. Respondent has shown that she cannot — or will not — do so. And so she must go.”

Upcoming Election

In addition to this, 

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Peterson is facing opposition in the upcoming primary election. Earlier this year, her Homeowners Association (HOA) initiated wage garnishment from her judicial salary to settle the $43,446.76 debt she owes.


The Georgia Supreme Court will have the final say on whether the hearing panel’s recommendation will be approved or not. Peterson has 20 business days to file a response and remains on the bench. 

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Lester Tate, her attorney, stated “we disagree with the recommendation of removal and intend to go to the next level.”