Tifton Gazette

July 21, 2009

Our Opinion: Honoring Tifton’s Judge Mims


We offer our congratulations to State Court Judge Larry B. Mims of Tift County. At a recent meeting of the State Bar Association, Mims was recognized as an “Outstanding Jurist,” receiving one of four awards presented to judges who preside outside Metro Atlanta.

 “This award recognizes the valuable contributions that these judges make to the courts, the rule of law and their communities in areas of the state where the need is greatest,” said Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham.

Mims is known as a fair jurist. He has presided in the State Court of Tift County for nine years. Appointed in 2000 by Gov. Roy Barnes, Mims was re-elected in 2002 and 2006. The State Court of Tift County has jurisdiction over misdemeanor and criminal cases, including traffic cases, and all civil cases, except domestic relations and equity cases.

The court here is among the busiest in the state, with an annual caseload in excess of 11,000 cases. Mims currently serves as secretary of the Council of State Court Judges and chairs the Council’s Public Information Committee.

He is a Tifton native, a product of Tift County schools and has a B.A. in government from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and a law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. Mims had a private law practice for several years and in 1989 was appointed State Court solicitor by Gov. Joe Frank Harris; he was re-elected to that position in 1990, 1994 and 1998. Mims served 11 years as solicitor before becoming State Court judge.

Beyond his legal experience, Mims also has remained active in our community. He has served on the board of directors of the Tift County Commission on Children and Youth, of the United Way, of PLIGHT Inc. and of the Coastal Plains Chapter of the American Red Cross. He is co-founder of Mims Kids Inc. and has served on the Governor’s Children and Youth Coordinating Council.

Mims also has implemented a judicial outreach program through the Tift County school system to expose elementary school students  to the judicial branch of government.

Judge Mims is one of many Tift countians who quietly go about making our community a little better very day. We are glad to see him get some recognition on the state level from his peers.