Melanie Bell

COVINGTON — Newton County Probate Court and Chief Magistrate Court Judge Melanie Bell announced Wednesday that she will seek re-election in 2020.

Bell defeated Shannon Snead in the 2016 Republican Primary to win her first term in office. She succeeded long-time judge Henry Baker, who retired in 2016.

“Since taking office in January 2017, I have worked to increase the use of technology in both courts, making court processes more user friendly for citizens, law enforcement and attorneys,” said Bell in a released statement. “Each day our team works together to provide excellent customer service, while we implement changes to comply with Georgia law and to make the system more accessible to the public. Court can be a scary process for those who are not familiar with the system, and I work with an incredible team of men and women who strive to serve the citizens of this community in a fair, efficient and fiscally sound manner.”

According to Bell, in late 2017, the Probate Court received funding for a fingerprint machine in the office for use in weapons carry


I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.