Our Judges

Read more about the judges at the Municipal Court.

Honorable Calvin S. Graves

Honorable Gary E. Jackson

Honorable Crystal A. Gaines

Honorable Christopher E. Ward

Honorable Terrinee L. Gundy

Honorable JaDawnya C. Baker

Honorable Christopher T. Portis

Honorable Ardra L. Bey

Honorable Teresa A. Mann

Judge Calvin S. Graves

Judge Calvin S. Graves was appointed to the Municipal Court bench in 2005. Prior to being appointed to the Municipal Court bench, Judge Graves served as Chief Judge, Judge and Pro Hac Judge of the City Court of Atlanta to which he was appointed in 1993.

Judge Graves has a long career in Civil and Criminal law. He was previously a partner in the civil law firm of Smolar, Brantley, and Barnes, where he served for many years. Judge Graves had the honor of serving as Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Georgia, Associate Judge of Fulton County Juvenile Court, Child Advocate of Fulton County, Associate Public Defender of Fulton County, Assistant Solicitor General of Fulton County, Conflict Attorney for the U.S. Public Defender’s office, and Adjunct Professor in the paralegal program at Atlanta Technical College.

Judge Graves is a member of many professional and community organizations. He is a past president of the Gate City Bar Association, past president of the Gate City Bar Association Foundation, past member of the editorial board of the State Bar; of Georgia Journal and founding co-chair of the Gate City Bar Association Judicial Section. He is a member of the League of Women Voters, a graduate of the Leadership Atlanta class of 1993 and a founding member of the 100 Black Men of DeKalb County.

Judge Graves is a recipient of many awards and honors, but he is particularly proud of the award he received in honor of his mentor Judge Clarence Cooper. Known as the Judge Clarence Cooper Judicial Section Award, this award is given to jurists for outstanding service to the judiciary and the community. Judge Graves is a member of the National Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Atlanta Bar Association and the Gate City Bar Association. Back to Top

Judge Gary E. Jackson

Judge Gary E. Jackson is a native Atlantan, having graduated from Northside High School (now North Atlanta) in 1968. Judge Jackson received a BS from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1972 and graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1975, where he was a Senior Editor of the Georgia Law Review.

Judge Jackson was an Assistant Legislative Counsel to the General Assembly of Georgia in 1975-76 and opened his private law practice in 1977. Judge Jackson returned to the General Assembly to serve as Legal Aid to Lt. Governor Zell Miller in 1978-79, and continued practicing law, concentrating in commercial collection matters, for over 25 years.

In 1984, Judge Jackson was appointed by Mayor Andrew Young as a hearing officer for the Atlanta Bureau of Taxi Cabs and Vehicles for Hire, and later by Fulton State Court Chief Judge Charles Carnes as a Pro Hac Magistrate Judge in Fulton County. In 1988 Judge Jackson was appointed as a Pro Hac Judge to the City Court of Atlanta and in 1995 as a Pro Hac Judge in the Municipal Court of Atlanta. Judge Jackson became a full-time judge in the City Court of Atlanta in 2000 and on June 30, 2005, was appointed by Mayor Shirley Franklin as a judge in the Municipal Court of Atlanta. Judge Jackson is now serving in his 7th term as a Judge of the Municipal Court.

Judge Jackson has been a featured lecturer for the Atlanta Bar Association, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Institute of Continuing Judicial Education, and the National Business Institute. He hosted the “Legal Action with Gary Jackson” program on WSB radio for eight years and was the founder of the Gate City B’nai B’rith “Pinch Hitter Project”, the recipient of President George H. Bush’s 335th point of Light Award.

Judge Jackson is a past President of the Council of Municipal Court Judges of Georgia. He continues to serve the Council as a 5th District Representative to its Executive Committee.

Judge Jackson served as a Member of the Judicial Council of Georgia (2015-2017) which is the policy-making body for Georgia’s judiciary, chaired by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

On June 16, 2022, Judge Jackson was honored by the Council of Municipal Court Judges when he received its “Frost Ward Lifetime Achievement Award,” which recognizes a municipal court judge who has made significant contributions to the Council over a long period of time. He also received a President’s Award “for his tireless efforts to improve the judicial system through legislative reform.”

Sylvia Zazueta, Special Asst. – SZazueta@atlantaga.gov  Jarrett Arnold, Case Manager – JSArnold@atlantaga.gov Charlene Stewart, Judicial Asst. – CHStewart@atlantaga.gov  Back to Top

Judge Crystal A. Gaines

Judge Gaines has over fifteen years of legal experience with expertise in criminal law and excellent knowledge of State and Municipal Court processes. She has experience in jury and non-jury trials, as well as, legal administration. Judge Gaines received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1984 at Albany State College, a Juris Doctorate from North Carolina Central University of Law in 1989, and a Master of Laws in Litigation from Atlanta Law School in 1994. She has developed seminars for the Georgia Indigent Defense Council and was instrumental in developing and implementing the Drug Defense Resource Center (GDIC) and Fulton County Defenders, Inc. Judge Gaines was chosen to participate in the international monitoring program for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings in South Africa. Judge Gaines was appointed in May 2010 to take over the post of Chief Judge when Judge Deborah S. Greene retired from the Municipal Court bench. She completed her term as Chief Judge in May 2013 and continues to sit on the bench as a Judge at Municipal Court.

Her organizational affiliations, memberships and honors are: Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA); Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; American Civil Liberties Union (Executive Board-1991); National Lawyers Guild (Committee on South Africa); Atlantans for Democracy in South Africa (Chairperson – 1992); America Friends Service Committee (Executive Committee-Chair 1996-1999); National Legal Aid and Defender Association; Fulton County Conflict Defender, Inc. (Board President); National Conference of Black Lawyers; National Council of Negro Women; and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.

Marye Ware, Special Asst.-MWare@atlantaga.gov   Shawndra Brown, Judicial Asst.- SPDBrown@atlantaga.gov Back to Top

Judge Christopher E. Ward

Judge Christopher Evan Ward is a native of Atlanta, having graduated from North Fulton High School in 1989. Judge Ward received his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from Morehouse College in 1993. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami School of Law, and became licensed to practice law in 1998.

Judge Ward began his career as a Staff Attorney with the Fulton County Public Defender’s Office in 1998. In 2000, Judge Ward joined the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office where he prosecuted felony cases in various departments of the office, including the trial, major narcotics, illegal firearms, and community prosecution units. In 2007, he joined the Georgia Power Company as a Senior Staff Attorney. His practice area focused on eminent domain litigation, environmental law, corporate security, and real estate law matters. In 2008, he was appointed to serve as an Associate Judge at the Fulton County Juvenile Court where he served on a pro bono basis from June 2008 until January 2009.

Judge Ward has been an active member of the Gate City Bar Association since 2004 and currently serves as the 2016 Chair of the Judicial Section. He has served on the Executive Board, Hall of Fame selection and scholarship committee (Chair 2007-2011) and the Foundation Board between 2005 and 2012. His numerous volunteer activities include serving on the Board of Directors of the John Harlan Boys and Girls Club and Grow Kids, Inc.; mentoring in the Brother to Brother program; and tutoring at A.D. Williams Elementary School. He was appointed to the Superior Court of Fulton County Selection Committee for Juvenile Court (2015) and also serves as External Advisory Group member for the Justice Reinvestment Initiative for Fulton County (2016). Judge Ward is a member of Cascade United Methodist Church and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He is also a member of Kappa Boule of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and the 2015 Class of Leadership Atlanta.

Judge Ward served as Chief Judge from May 2015 to July 2016. His tenure with the Municipal Court of Atlanta has been accentuated by improvements in overall court operations during his service as Chief Judge and in the D.U.I. Division where he has presided since 2013.

Judge Ward was appointed to the Municipal Court of Atlanta bench by Mayor Kasim Reed in 2012.

Julian Hooker, Case Manager – Jhooker@atlantaga.gov Tracy Armstead, Special Asst. – TMArmstead@atlantaga.gov JaVanna Holley, Judicial Asst.- jholley@atlantaga.gov Back to Top

Judge Terrinee L. Gundy

As a magna cum laude graduate of Clark Atlanta University, Judge Gundy earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science, with a minor in Mathematics in 1996; and a Juris Doctorate from University of Georgia School of Law in 2000. Upon graduation from law school, Judge Gundy worked as a state and local tax associate for KPMG and Cox Communications, Inc. respectively. Subsequently, Judge Gundy entered into the private practice of law focusing on real estate law, business transactions and negotiations, as well as public and government law.

In 2012, Judge Gundy was appointed to the bench of the Magistrate Court of Fulton County. Judge Gundy presided over traffic matters, local code violations, probable cause and bond hearings, non-jury trials, and warrant applications in Magistrate Court. As a Magistrate Judge, she also participated in several programs related to educating the youth and public about the judicial system, including the Gate City Bar Judicial Section’s “Journey to Judge” Program, and the Emory School of Law Moot Court Competition. Prior to being appointed to the Magistrate Court of Fulton County, Judge Gundy served as an adjunct professor for John Marshall Law School, teaching “Accounting for Lawyers” and “Law Firm Management.”

Integrally involved in the community, Judge Gundy has served and partnered with The Andrew Young Foundation, The King Center, Woodruff Arts Center, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, National Black Arts Festival, 100 Black Men of Atlanta and Year Up Atlanta. Judge Gundy was also a co-founder of the Collective Renaissance Guild, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization comprised of Gen-X professionals charged with developing civic and cultural leaders while integrating the arts, philanthropy, and social change programs. Judge Gundy served as the first and only female mentor for Judge J. Antonio DelCampo’s Male Intervention Program in DeKalb County, which focused on preventing recidivism by criminal offenders from 18-24 years of age, and as a Guardian Ad Litem for children in the Truancy Invention Program. Judge Gundy works closely with the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency intern program, offering intern experience for college students interested in law. Judge Gundy also serves as one of the annual change agent speakers for the Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute fellowship program. She is passionate about young people and rising professionals, and often sits as a panelist on a plethora of panels discussing education, community service and advancement in the legal field. Judge Gundy is an executive board member of the Judicial Section of the National Bar Association, former executive board member of the Gate City Bar Judicial Section, and the National Association of Women Judges, member of the Atlanta Bar Association, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys and member and newsletter editor of the Council of Municipal Court Judges.

Judge Gundy has received recognition for professional accomplishments, including being featured as one of Atlanta’s Top 25 Women in Business by Rolling Out Magazine in 2010, and a featured attorney in a 2012 Atlanta Tribune Magazine issue. In 2016, Judge Gundy was the recipient of the Women Works Media Group’s Law and Justice Award.

Judge Gundy founded and writes the column in Atlanta Tribune Magazine, known as “Meet the Judge.” With the column she aims to recognize and humanize judges, by sharing more interesting facts and personal attributes. Judge Gundy is also the editor of The Municipal Quarterly, a newsletter that highlights the court and city’s important announcements, advancement in customer service initiatives at the court and efforts by her and other legal professionals that serve the community.

Judge Gundy is a member of Elizabeth Baptist Church and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. On June 10, 2013, Mayor Kasim Reed appointed Judge Terrinee L. Gundy to the bench of the Municipal Court of Atlanta, where she presently presides over the in-custody division. Judge Gundy’s emphasis on fairness, justice, and superior customer service are always her most important goals, as well as, rehabilitation and alternative sentencing, when appropriate. Judge Terrinee L. Gundy remains committed to serving the public far beyond the courtroom.

Nicole Rozier, Case Manager – NRozier@atlantaga.gov Deshanna Wiggins, Special Asst. – DCWiggins@atlantaga.gov Tawni Fears, Judicial Asst. – TSFears@atlantaga.gov Back to Top

Judge JaDawnya C. Baker

Judge JaDawnya C. Baker was appointed to the Atlanta Municipal Court by Mayor Kasim Reed on March 20, 2015 making her the youngest judge on the Atlanta Municipal Court at the time of her appointment. Prior to her appointment, Judge Baker served for over four years in the Office of the Fulton County District Attorney as a Chief Senior Assistant District Attorney in the following divisions: Non-Complex Trial, Community Prosecution, Complex Trial, Public Integrity and Crimes Against Women & Children. Immediately following law school, Judge Baker started a boutique practice, The Butler Law Group, L.L.C., where she served the greater Atlanta community as a solo practitioner for five years.

Judge Baker is a proud graduate of Spelman College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and History in 2001 and graduated with honors. Judge Baker received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida, Levin College of Law in 2004 where she earned the highest grades in several of her classes and spoke at her law school graduation. She is the recipient of The University of Florida’s Black Law Students Association’s 2006 “Outstanding Alumni” Award. She is also a 2008 graduate of the State Bar of Georgia’s Young Lawyers Division’s Leadership Academy.

Judge Baker served as President of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (“GABWA”) in 2012. She is the founder of GABWA’s national award-winning Judicial & Public Office Academy and Trial Masters Boot Camp. Judge Baker was recognized as one of “Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence” in 2012 and 2014 by the Atlanta Business League.  She served as a guest legal analyst from 2012- 2015 on HLN for the following television shows: “On the Case,” “Evening Express,” and “HLN After Dark.”

Judge Baker served the community as the leader of the Perkerson Elementary Reading Program, a program founded by the Gate City Bar Association’s Judicial Section to mentor third grade boys through weekly lunchtime reading sessions. She also volunteered weekly in “Legal Lives” where she taught elementary school students about the legal system and led them in a mock trial competition. She was featured as the cover story for the Daily Report’s 2012 annual attorneys “On the Rise” edition, awarded the 2012 Special Commendation Award by the African Leadership Magazine and named one of Atlanta’s “Top 100 Law Leaders” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. In 2012, she was also awarded “Community Prosecutor of the Year” by the Fulton County District Attorney, Mr. Paul L. Howard, Jr.

Judge Baker was appointed to the State Bar of Georgia’s Board of Governors in 2013 and has since been elected twice to continue her service.  In 2013, she was honored by the National Bar Association as one of the “Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 lawyers under 40.” That same year, Judge Baker also became an inaugural honoree of the Lawyers of Color’s “Hot List” which recognizes 100 lawyers under 40 who excel in the legal community. She is a member of the Outstanding Atlanta Class of 2013 and the 2013 Class of LEAD Atlanta.

In 2014, she was honored in the inaugural “Emerging Leaders” Class of “Who’s Who in Black Atlanta” and awarded the Ronda F. Williams’ Professionalism Award by the National Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division. In 2016, she was honored as “Alumni of the Year” by the Fulton County District Attorney, Mr. Paul L. Howard, Jr. In 2017, she was appointed to the State Bar of Georgia’s ICivics Committee and the Georgia Code Revision Commission by the Georgia State Bar President.  Judge Baker was appointed to the Access to Fairness and Justice Committee by the President of the Council of Municipal Court Judges in 2017 and 2018. That same year, she was appointed to the Lawyer Referral and Information Service’s Board of Trustees for the Atlanta Bar Association. Judge Baker was recognized in The Network Journal’s annual “40 under Forty” Achievement Awards in 2017. She was elected to serve in both 2017 and 2018 as Secretary for the Council of Municipal Court Judges.

Jenessa Cephacile, Case Manager – JCephacile@Atlantaga.gov

Judge Christopher T. Portis

Mayor Kasim Reed appointed Judge Christopher Thornton Portis to the Atlanta Municipal Court in July 2015. Judge Portis is a native Atlantan and earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Morehouse College. Judge Portis attended law school at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

From October 2008, until his appointment to the Atlanta Municipal Court, Judge Portis served part-time as a Fulton County Magistrate Judge. As a practicing attorney, Judge Portis represented clients in business litigation matters. He served as Special Counsel at the National Monuments Foundation, he was “of counsel” with the Parks Group, P.C., and also served as General Counsel to Communique-USA, Inc., a marketing firm in the Atlanta area.

Judge Portis continues his commitment of service to the community he loves. He is a former board member at the National Monuments Foundation; he is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Northside Atlanta; and he is a past chairman of the Pastoral Council at St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church. Additionally, Judge Portis is a 2012 graduate of the Young Lawyers’ Division of the State Bar of Georgia Leadership Academy.

Judge Portis presides over the Code and Ordinance Division. This division hears matters regarding the following types of cases: Housing Code; Vehicles for Hire; Business Licenses and Permits; Watershed (Theft & Erosion); Fire Code; Public Works (Dumping & Trash); Zoning & Buildings; and Judicial In Rem Proceedings. The Code and Ordinance Division is responsible for all matters relating to the enforcement of residential and commercial properties that are alleged to be in violation of the Atlanta Housing Code, the Commercial Maintenance Industrial Code, and the Zoning Ordinance.

Colonia Madison , Special Asst. – cmadison@atlantaga.gov   Back to Top

Judge Ardra L. Bey

Judge Ardra L. Bey currently serves as a judge at the Municipal Court of Atlanta. Prior to being appointed to the bench Judge Bey practiced for over twelve years in various state and federal courts in Alabama and Georgia. Judge Bey began her practice in a boutique law firm in Alabama where she represented civil plaintiffs, the Alabama Teacher’s Union, city governments and criminal defendants. After relocating to Georgia, Judge Bey expanded her practice to include complex civil litigation and representation of defendants charged with serious felony offenses.

Judge Bey is the recipient of many awards and honors and has authored several legal articles, but she is particularly proud of her legal work on behalf of veterans and the accompanying articles she authored to assist veterans with understanding their rights.

Judge Bey is a member of several professional and civic organizations. She is on the board of the Buckhead Branch of the Atlanta-Fulton County Library System, she is a member of the Buckhead Business Association, the Gate City Bar Association, the Atlanta Bar Association, the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., just to name a few.

Judge Bey is married to trial lawyer N. John Bey and they reside in Atlanta, Georgia with their two daughters, Julia and Olivia.

Roshedia Clark, Case Manager – RLClark@atlantaga.gov Toni Hines, Special Asst.- trhines@atlantaga.gov JaVanna Holley, Judicial Asst. – JHolley@atlantaga.gov Back to Top

Judge Teresa A. Mann

Judge Teresa Mann is a native of West Virginia who relocated to Atlanta in 1993. Judge Mann earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and Associate in Applied Science degree in Paralegal Studies from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia in 1990. Immediately following her undergraduate studies, Judge Mann attended West Virginia University College of Law, in Morgantown, West Virginia, as a W.E.B. Du Bois Fellow and received her Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1993. While attending law school Judge Mann served as President of the Black Law Students’ Association (BLSA) and as a student member of the Dean’s Search Committee.

Judge Mann practiced law in the metropolitan Atlanta legal community for over 27 years as both a solo practitioner and as a founding partner with the law firm Mann & Moran, PC. As part of her professional practice, Judge Mann litigated civil and criminal cases on the local, state, and federal levels. Over the span of her career Judge Mann also served as a Solicitor and as Indigent Defense Counsel in multiple municipalities throughout Fulton County. Judge Mann’s career has been distinguished by numerous appearances before the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court. Most notably, Judge Mann holds the honor of having successfully argued a case of first impression before the Georgia Supreme Court that resulted in a published and precedent setting opinion. In 2014, Judge Mann served as one of several lead attorneys in Georgia’s longest multi-defendant criminal jury trial.

Judge Mann’s ascension to the bench began in October 2019 when she was appointed by Chief Judge Fani T. Willis (now Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis) to serve as Judge Pro Tem for the City of South Fulton Municipal Court. As part of her judicial appointment Judge Mann presided over traffic violations, code violations, probation revocation hearings, first appearances, and non-jury trials. Judge Mann served as Judge Pro Tem until October 2021 when Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms appointed Judge Mann to serve as a full-time Judge on the Municipal Court of Atlanta bench.

Judge Mann is actively involved in both civic and legal organizations and is a member of the Gate City Bar Association and the prestigious Charles Longstreet Weltner Family Law Inn of Court.

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