Magistrate Court Chief Judge Barron retiring, will be succeeded by Associate Judge Makin


Magistrate Court Chief Judge Patricia Barron
Magistrate Court Associate Judge Benjamin Makin

By Joe Johnson

The Superior Court judges of the Western Judicial Circuit recently voted to appoint Magistrate Court Associate Judge Benjamin Makin to succeed Chief Magistrate Judge Patricia Barron when she retires next month after serving 20 years on the bench.

Barron’s retirement will be official on Dec. 31, and Makin will take her place the following day.

Her term as judge was to expire in 2024.

“We are very excited to select Judge Benjamin Makin as the next Chief Magistrate Judge and we give our warmest regards to Judge Patricia Barron on her retirement,” Western Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Eric Norris said. “Judge Makin has the depth and breadth of legal knowledge and experience to serve as Chief. Judge Makin has already served ten years in the ACC Magistrate Court and we are confident in his ability and leadership to steer the Court for the future and for the citizens of Athens-Clarke County.”

Makin has served as an associate judge in Magistrate Court since his appointment in February 2012. Prior to that he was an attorney for the Western Circuit Public Defender’s Office.

He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in English Literature and from the University of Georgia School of Law.

Makin serves the N. Kent Lawrence DUI Treatment Court both as a team member and as assistant judge to State Court Judge Charles Auslander III. Since 2013, he has served as mentor for the Clarke County Mentor Program.

He was born in Johnstown, PA and grew up in Stillwater, OK before moving to Athens in 2001. He and his wife Mandy have two sons.

Makin expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to continue working with the Athens-Clarke County court system and serving the community stating, "I am very grateful to the Superior Court Judges for this appointment and to Judge Barron for her years of leadership and support. Along with Judge Donarell Green and our excellent staff I look forward to upholding the high standards of Magistrate Court. We will continue to treat people with dignity and respect in all aspects of our work.”

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