Catoosa magistrate sets up shop in new office - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Catoosa magistrate sets up shop in new office

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Story by Melydia Clewell

RINGGOLD, GA -- (WRCB) Catoosa County Magistrate Anthony Peters says he will be working out of a Ringgold, Georgia, law firm while the state's Judicial Qualifications Commission investigates the magistrate's office.

Last month a confrontation between Chief Magistrate Sonny Caldwell and Peters disrupted business and the magistrate's office when Caldwell tried unsuccessfully to fire Peters.

By Georgia law, the JQC is the only entity that can fire a sitting judge or magistrate.

The magistrate's office inside the Catoosa courthouse has remained closed since the incident.

Both Caldwell and Peters agreed to take voluntary leave of absence until the JQC completes an investigation into the events leading up to and including the incident, which ended with the involuntary removal of Peters from the courthouse by Catoosa County sheriff's deputies.

Peters was cuffed and taken to a holding cell where he was detained for an afternoon. He later tried to swear out warrants on kidnapping charges against Caldwell and Sheriff Phil Summers.

However, magistrate clerks are currently unable to file new cases while the office is closed. That led Peters to decide to set up his own shop. He says he will be using space at the Bandy and Stagg law office in downtown Ringgold to conduct business of the magistrate court.

It's not clear how work would come his way. Chief Magistrate Caldwell assigns cases and is the one responsible for determining Peter's case load.



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