Superior Court

100 10th Street
Government Center
Columbus, Georgia, 31901
Phone: (706) 653-4370

Officials

Arthur L. Smith III
Tower, 7th Floor
Phone: (706) 653-4273
Bobby G. Peters
Tower, 9th Floor
Phone: (706) 653-4384
Gil McBride
Tower, 11th Floor
Phone: (706) 225-4275
Ron Mullins
Tower, 4th Floor
Phone: (706) 653-4277
Maureen Gottfried
Tower, 3rd Floor
Phone: (706) 653-4322
John T. Martin, Sr
Tower, 4th Floor
Phone: (706) 225 4194
Ben Richardson
Tower, 7th Floor
Phone: (706) 225-3480


Chief Judge Arthur L. Smith III

Located in Government Center - Tower, 7th Floor
Phone: (706) 653-4273
Fax: (706) 653-4569
Image of one of the Chattahoochee Judicial Court System Judges here in Muscogee County. Art Smith is a Columbus native who was educated in the public schools and graduated from Columbus High School in 1973. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Columbus College (now known as CSU). He earned his law degree from Samford University's Cumberland School of Law and later obtained an L.L.M. in Taxation in 2005 at the University of Alabama School of Law.

Judge Smith practiced as a private attorney from 1979-1989 in a general practice law firm in Columbus. In 1989, he joined the Legal Division at AFLAC and handled litigation and arbitration throughout the United States. He also served as a JAG Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserves. He has been married to his wife Sue for 40 years, and they have two grown daughters, a son-in-law, and two grandchildren, William Arthur and Watford Lee.

He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the Columbus Inns of Court (President 2014-2015), and the Columbus Bar Association. He is also an active member of St. Luke United Methodist Church and the Kiwanis Club of Columbus and serves on several community boards.

In December of 2011, he was sworn in by Governor Nathan Deal to serve as Judge of the Superior Courts of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit. On July 31, 2012, he was elected by the citizens of the circuit to serve as judge for a full four-year term, beginning January 1, 2013. Was re-elected without opposition in 2016 and 2020.

Judge Smith is currently the President of the Council of Superior Court Judges of Georgia and serves as a member of the Judicial Council which is the governing Board of all classes of Georgia Courts.

He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, Coweta Falls Chapter. His revolutionary ancestor is Cary Cox.
On January 1, 2023, he is also designated the Chief Superior Court Judge of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit.

Judge Bobby G. Peters

Located in Government Center - Tower, 9th Floor
Phone: (706) 653-4384
Cell (After Hours): (706) 653 4266
Chambers (Private Line): (706) 225-4131
Fax: (706) 653-4384
Image of one of the Chattahoochee Judicial Court System Judges here in Muscogee County. Bobby graduated from Hardaway High School in 1967, and then earned an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice, B.S., and a post-graduate degree in Education, M.S. both at Columbus University. He graduated with a J.D. from Woodrow Wilson Law School in 1979.

He was a law detective with the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office and taught law as a professor of criminal justice at Southern Union State College and was Director of the Regional Police Academy. He has been in law practice since 1979.

In addition to his service enforcing the law, he was a city councilor for twelve (12) years on the Columbus City Council and was elected for two consecutive terms as the Mayor of Columbus, as well as, Public Safety Director of the city.

He has been honored by many organizations earning the title "The People's Advocate". He was also chosen as one of only ten elected officials in the nation and the only one from Georgia to represent the United States of America in a governmental exchange program with Australia. Bobby was honored as the first American citizen to be named "Ambassador of Goodwill" for the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, WHINSEC, which was formerly known as the School of Americas. In 2002, Bobby was personally presented the "Order of Saint Maurice" by General Paul Eaton, Commander of Fort Benning.

Judge Gil McBride

Located in Government Center - Tower, 11th Floor
Phone: (706) 225-4275
Image of one of the Chattahoochee Judicial Court System Judges here in Muscogee County. Gil grew up in Columbus where he was educated in local schools. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. where he also interned for Congressman Jack Brinkley. After graduating from law school at the Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University, Gil returned to Columbus in 1991 where he began the practice of law. He practiced as a private attorney for seventeen years with his wife, Betsy, before winning election to the bench in 2008. Gil and Betsy have four (4) children and are members of St. Paul United Methodist Church, the Harris County Cattlemen's Association and other community organizations. Gil is a former chairman of the Valley Rescue Mission, Inc. and the Kiwanis Club of Columbus. Both Gil and his oldest son are Eagle Scouts.

Judge Ron Mullins

Located in Government Center - Tower, 4th Floor
Phone: (706) 653-4277
Image of one of the Chattahoochee Judicial Court System Judges here in Muscogee County. Ron Mullins is a native of Harris County, Georgia. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.S. in Political Science in 1973 and from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1976 where he received his J.D. degree. He initially worked in Augusta, Georgia, with the law firm of Fulcher, Hagler, Harper & Reed.

He moved back to Columbus in 1980 as a partner with the Kelly, Denney, Pease & Allison firm. In the last ten years he has been a partner with the firm of Page, Scrantom, Sprouse, Tucker &S Ford.
He is the past president of the Columbus Bar Association, and past president of the Columbus Rotary Club. He and his wife are active in many community affairs, including serving as civilian sponsors for international officers who are stationed at Fort Benning.

He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the Columbus Inns of Court, and the Columbus Bar Association.

In January of 2014, he was sworn in by Governor Nathan Deal to serve as Judge of Superior Courts for the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit.
Ron and his wife, Mary, have been married for forty years, and have two grown children.

Judge Maureen Gottfried

Located in Government Center - Tower, 3rd Floor
Phone: (706) 653-4322
Image of one of the Chattahoochee Judicial Court System Judges here in Muscogee County. Maureen Gottfried was born in Washington, DC, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from St. Pius X Catholic High School and received the Distinguished Alumnae Award in 2000. She received her BA in English from Trinity College in Washington, DC in 1983, and her JD from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1986. She moved to Columbus, Georgia to work in the Solicitor General's Office of Muscogee County upon graduation. After serving as Chief Assistant, she was named Solicitor General in January of 1994. In November of 1995, she was appointed to a vacancy on the State Court Bench where she served for over 18 years, until being named to a newly created seat for the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit.

She has been active in the community, having served on the Board of Girls, Inc., the Child Advocacy Board, the Columbus Youth Soccer Association, and various activities at her children's school. She served on the Executive Board of the Columbus Bar Association, and as President in 2003-2004. She was a recipient of the Justice Robert Benham award for Community Service in 2005. She and her husband George have 3 children; Colleen, 18, Claire, 16 and George IV, 14.

Judge John T. Martin, Sr

Located in Government Center - Tower, 4th Floor
Phone: (706) 225 4194
Image of one of the Chattahoochee Judicial Court System Judges here in Muscogee County. Born, raised, and educated in Columbus, Georgia, John T. Martin, Sr. graduated from the University of Georgia Henry W. Grady College of Mass Communication in March 1991 and obtained his Juris Doctorate degree from Mississippi College School of Law in May 1995.

John passed the Georgia Bar exam prior to law school graduation, and then immediately joined his father, former Mayor of Columbus Frank K. Martin, Sr., in forming The Martin Firm, LLP. John initially handled mostly criminal matters but expanded his practice to include personal injury law. John also litigated numerous forfeiture actions and was lead counsel in several jury trials in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.

John has been licensed to practice in all Trial and Appellate Courts in the State of Georgia since June of 1996 and in all Trial and Appellate Courts in the State of Alabama since September of 2006.

After his father's passing in 2012, John was a sole practitioner for 10 years until he was appointed by Gov. Brian P. Kemp to be a Superior Court Judge in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit. John was sworn in on March 24, 2022, in the Governor's ceremonial office in front of family, friends and a host of state legislators.

Judge Martin has been and remains active in his profession, community, and church.

Judge Ben Richardson

Located in Government Center - Tower, 7th Floor
Phone: (706) 225-3480
Image of one of the Chattahoochee Judicial Court System Judges here in Muscogee County. Judge Richardson grew up in Atlanta, GA and graduated from Woodland High School in East Point, GA. After graduation from Howard University in Washington, D.C. he went on to earn his law degree from the University Of Georgia School Of Law in Athens, GA. Judge Richardson then practiced general law in Athens for approximately 1 ½ years. In 1994, Judge Richardson began working for the Muscogee County Office of the Solicitor General as an Assistant Solicitor General. He was promoted to Chief Assistant Solicitor General in January 1996. Judge Richardson was sworn in as Solicitor General in January 2003 by Governor Roy Barnes, becoming the first African American to hold this position in Muscogee County. In January of 2014, he was sworn in by Governor Nathan Deal to serve as Judge of State Court for Muscogee County. He served in this role until July of 2022 when he was sworn in as a Judge of the Superior Court of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit by Governor Brian Kemp.

Judge Richardson was named as co-recipient of the 1998 Columbus Consolidated Government Human Resources Humanitarian of the Year Award. He was awarded the J. Roger Thompson Faculty Member of the Year in 2003. In 2004, Judge Richardson was awarded one of the highest military honors for civilians, the Order of Saint Maurice, for his community work with the Columbus and Ft. Benning community. Also in 2004, Ben was named to Georgia Trend magazine's Forty Under Forty list of rising leaders in the State of Georgia. Judge Richardson was honored by being selected as the 2008 Solicitor-General of the Year by the Georgia Association of Solicitors-General.

Judge Richardson and his wife, Valerie, have one son, Justin. He enjoys being active in the community and is a member of several boards, organizations, and associations throughout the city and state.

Contact

Physical Address:
Government Center
100 10th Street,
Columbus, Georgia, 31901
Mailing Address:
Superior Court of Columbus
P.O. Box 2145
Columbus, Ga, 31902
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

The Superior Court of Columbus observes the holiday schedule approved by the Columbus City Council. Our office will be closed on City holidays. For a complete listing of City holidays, review the City's Holiday Schedule.

Phone Numbers:
Office:
(706) 653-4370