Penny Mazzola started her job as magistrate Dec. 14, 1993, and was sworn in by Probate Judge Mike Greene four months later. She will retire at the end of this month.
She recalled that, after being hired for the job, her name had to be approved by the Superior Court judges and then her training began. Mazzola said that training has been continuous since the first classes she attended.
The judge summed up her duties as marrying people, locking them up, and handling small claims. She said small claims court, which handles cases involving amounts under $15,000, was held every Wednesday.
City police officers and Jones County deputies come to the magistrate judge to get warrants before a person can be arrested, and the judge also handles their first court appearance, which must happen within 72 hours of their arrest.
Those first appearances mostly take place in a small courtroom inside the Jones County Law Enforcement Center on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons. The judge would typically head to the LEC after leaving the courthouse on those days.
For the full story, pick up a copy of this week's newspaper or subscribe to our e-Edition at http://ee.jcnews.com.