A hearing conducted by a panel has made the unanimous decision to recommend the removal of Douglas County Probate Judge Christina Peterson following an investigation. Since taking office in late 2020, the first-time judge has been under scrutiny in multiple investigations by FOX 5 I-Team.


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

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

Marriage Certificate 

The panel was specifically concerned about an incident where Peterson ordered the incarceration of a woman who was simply trying to update her marriage certificate,

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The woman was requesting to have her marriage certificate reflect her biological fathers name. 


PJ Skelton ultimately had to serve two days in jail from the 20-day sentence that was given for contempt,

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She remained in jail until her husband was able to pay the $500 fine. 


The panel wrote, 

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

Peterson Criticized

The report criticized Peterson for attempting to convince her Homeowners Association (HOA) at a community gathering to resolve a lawsuit she had started, 

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despite being aware that the HOA already had legal representation.

Groundbreaking Ruling  

This unprecedented ruling to fire Peterson comes after specific hearings that started in September 2023, 

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

The Panel 

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.”  

Panic Button


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She panicked when a deputy was delayed in escorting her to court, unnecessarily causing alarm among security.  

Douglas County Sheriff 

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

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allowing entry without the presence of deputies.


Additionally, the report outlined situations where staff criticized her actions,

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


Peterson’s primary argument was her limited experience as a judge, 

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Which she claimed had been addressed through more extensive training. 



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The panel was unconvinced by her explanation.

Legal Action  

“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.”

Failed To Do Her Job 

The report cited numerous occasions where she failed to do her job, 

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Which resulted 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.”


In addition to this, 

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

Lester Tate  

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

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