From the Anson Record
Changes are coming in the court system within Scotland County and, on Tuesday, Chief District Court Judge Amanda “Amy” Wilson visited the Rotary Club to talk about some of those.
Wilson, who once taught school in Richmond County, has served as District Court judge since 2008. She all but grew up in the court system, since her mother Cathy spend many years as clerk of courts in Richmond County.
“I always wanted to be a teacher, but I’ve never regretted going to law school and becoming a judge,” said Wilson, whose judicial district includes Scotland, Richmond and Anson counties.
Her job as judge also allows her to continue in a direction that has always guided her.
“I’ve always had a heart for children and family cases,” she said.
With that in mind, one of the areas she has worked with area attorneys and fellow District Court judges on is bringing a family court to Scotland County. Until recently, family court didn’t exist here, though it had for years in Richmond and Anson counties.
“We want to bring Scotland County to the table,” Wilson said. “And I give a lot of credit for helping to make that change to the local attorneys.”
She added that, in counties without a family court, cases could take “hundreds of days” to complete, while, in counties with a family court, the average time is 52 days.
“It’s important to get these cases decided quickly, because the longer they drag on, the worse it is for the family as a whole,” Wilson said.
Some of the other changes coming include:
— E-courts, which will allow anyone to access a computer at the courthouse to research case files and all other courthouse information, rather than relying on paper files.
— Raise the Age, which will stop the practice of charging juveniles as adults. North Carolina is the last state in the nation to make that change.
During a question and answer session, Wilson said some of the disturbing trends coming before her involve youth.
“Young crime and gangs and drugs — it’s all so much more prevalent nowadays,” she said. “Where we might have had six or seven cases, we now have 15 or 20.
“So many children today just aren’t being raised right,” she added. “But the positive impacts local communities can make are the key.
“It’s a real pleasure to work here (in Scotland County), because I love smaller towns and how y’all invest in the local youth,” she said.
Also during the Q&A session, Wilson said the programs being implemented are designed to help make the length of court cases, especially in youth cases, as short as possible.
“All of our judges are working as hard as they possibly can every day,” Wilson said. “And I don’t see myself as their boss — we are a team, and it takes everyone working together to get things right.”