The new city of Stonecrest in southeast DeKalb County has gained a judiciary.
The Stonecrest City Council appointed and confirmed Jonathan Weintraub this week as chief judge of the new municipal court and Michael Sheridan Jr. as judge pro tem.
Weintraub is a former county attorney for DeKalb and Gwinnett counties and has served as general counsel to the Etowah Water & Sewer Authority in Dawson County. Sheridan is a partner at the Lithonia general practice firm Davis & Sheridan, which handles family law, criminal law, personal injury law and bankruptcy.
Both positions are part-time, Weintraub said.
Stonecrest, which officially became a city on May 1, is south of Lithonia, on the other side of I-20. With a population of about 50,000, it is metro Atlanta’s ninth new city since 2005, when Sandy Springs started the incorporation trend. Voters also approved South Fulton as a city last November.
Stonecrest City Court will open in October, Weintraub said. It will be held in City Hall at 3120 Stonecrest Blvd., which is under renovation.
The court will initially handle code and zoning violations, he said, and once Stonecrest’s police force gets established, it will also handle traffic violations.
“Municipal court is the one court, other than traffic court, that most people deal with in life, so it’s an extremely important court,” Weintraub said. “It’s going to be a busy court.”
A code violation could be someone running an auto repair shop in their driveway in a residential district or a wing shop at a gas station that has not been approved by the local board of health, Weintraub said.
The new city has adopted DeKalb’s code and zoning ordinances for now, while it creates its own. Weintraub said he will be working with the city manager and the city’s outside consultant to get the new court up and running. He added that he’ll have some judicial input on the city code.
Weintraub was county attorney for DeKalb for seven years, until resigning in 2000 to go into private practice. He returned to DeKalb as deputy chief operating officer for the DeKalb County Development Group from 2010 to 2012.
In private practice, Weintraub, who described himself as semi-retired, handles land use and zoning law, representing developers and homeowners associations.
Asked why he applied for the Stonecrest job, Weintraub said he enjoys getting new projects going, noting that as DeKalb’s county attorney he put together an in-house law department of 11 attorneys.
“I’m a young 70. I can’t play golf every day,” he said.