AUGUSTA — Augusta’s longest serving Superior Court judge is retiring at the end of the year.
Judge Carlisle Overstreet was appointed to the Augusta Judicial Circuit in 1991 and he became chief judge in 2008.
Before becoming a Superior Court judge, Overstreet practiced law from 1970 until 1991.
He announced his retirement early to give another person a chance to run for his seat.
Overstreet says he wants to spend more time with family.
“I’m 70 years old and it’s time to move on to something else. I’ve been doing this 25, 26 years,” Overstreet said.
Although he’s retiring December 31st, Overstreet says he will still be active in law by serving on state boards and committees that are working to improve the court system.
It’s something he’s been doing for years.
“Over the years, I think back about the Public Defender System. It’s not something that’s been around forever. We have a real good one here in Augusta and I feel some responsiblity for that, not only in Augusta, but I was in Atlanta as head of the judges back when we started all of that,” Overstreet said.
Overstreet believes that domestic violence is the root of many crimes and he plans to continue his work against domestic violence when he retires.
“We have to remember that we’re all cogs in a wheel. Nobody’s any bigger than anybody else. The DA is not any bigger than the PD,” Overstreet said.
Even though a judge is supposed to remain neutral, Overstreet says it can be difficult to deal with certain cases.
“People are a lot younger and there are a lot of drugs and it’s just hard to see not only the effect it has on the defendant, but the effect on the families,” Overstreet said.
With nearly 50 years working in the courts, Overstreet says one quality is most important.
“Patience. I mean, you have all sorts of people and personalities including different lawyers, different victims, and parties and you just got to bare in mind that they are all different people and they all have different views than you do,” Overstreet said.