PTC attorney Steve Kiser seeks to become Fayette’s new probate judge

Tue, 05/20/2008 - 3:58pm
By: Letters to the ...

After many wonderful years of serving the citizens of Fayette County as judge of the Probate Court, the Honorable Martha Stephenson has decided to retire on Dec. 31, 2008. The election to determine the next probate judge of Fayette County will commence with the Republican Primary to be held on July 15, 2008.

The Fayette County Probate Court is one of the best run and most respected courts in Georgia, primarily due to the dedicated efforts of Judge Stephenson and her able, dedicated and professional staff. The staff is a wealth of information and expertise and has collectively served the citizens of Fayette County for well over 70 years.

My name is Steve Kiser and I have now qualified as a Republican candidate to be your next probate judge. I respectfully ask for your vote on July 15, 2008. I have served as Fayette County’s guardian/administrator for the Probate Court for the past five years, as well as served in numerous cases as the court-appointed guardian ad litem, and/or attorney for the ward, and even as judge pro hac vice on the rare occasion when Judge Stephenson could not serve because of conflicts or other reasons.

I graduated from the University of Georgia Lumpkin School of Law in December of 1974 and served as a judge advocate general with the United States Navy. I am a practicing attorney and have been a member of the State Bar of Georgia since 1975.

I have also served as a judge in the federal courts, local municipal courts, as a special master for both Fulton and Clayton County superior courts, and as judge pro hac vice for our very own Fayette County Probate Court.

My wife and I are both native Georgians. I was born and raised in the Atlanta area. We have been married almost 39 wonderful years and have been a part of this community since relocating to Fayette County from Riverdale in 1987. Both of our daughters graduated from McIntosh High School in Peachtree City.

Stephanie, the eldest, graduated from the University of Georgia, where she met and dated her husband, David Adams, who is also a Georgia graduate. They have a son, Alex, who is a precocious 5-year-old. He is my pride and joy and refers to me as his “Poppa.”

Sandy attended and graduated from Georgia Tech, while finishing her education at the State University of West Georgia in Carrollton. All of our family currently resides in the local area.

I am a conservative and have voted in every election since 1968 as a Republican. I have served the Republican Party in numerous capacities, including the Fayette and state parties, as well as the district as a first vice chairman. I have helped several other county parties get organized around our great state.

As I have actively worked since last June to become your next probate judge, I have realized that many people have no idea what this important court actually does. I want to take this opportunity to tell you a little about this valuable county asset.

In some counties, the probate court handles traffic cases — here we no longer have this responsibility, as we are fortunate to have our very own state court.

In many counties, the probate court oversees elections. Again, we are fortunate that this function is served by our independent Board of Elections.

I was fortunate to serve on this important board for Fayette County for approximately 10 years, and served as its chairman for four years.

What does our probate court do? It is where a person goes to probate wills and/or administer estates. It appoints guardians and conservators for mentally incapacitated adults and children.

This is an especially important area of service to our community, as we find many of our families facing these difficult situations with our parents or special needs young adults.

This court is also where one can apply for a gun permit and obtain a marriage license (hopefully not at the same time). It also processes passport applications and handles extradition hearings when we have persons in our local jails who are wanted on warrants from foreign jurisdictions.

I believe in being a part of the community and have served as a volunteer in numerous capacities since I returned to Georgia after my service to the federal government and the United States Navy. These are a few of my community activities: East Point Rotary Club from 1983-1998 and as president from 1987-1988; Boy Scouts of America Executive Council, South Fulton Unit from 1984-1990; American Cancer Society (ACS), South Fulton and Fayette Units from 1984-1995, past chairman; Director of Georgia Division of American Cancer Society; East Point Business and Professional Association (1984-1998) and as president (1989-90); Cochran Mill Nature Center and Arboretum, Inc., director and vice president (through December 1997); Fayette County Election Board member; chairman of election board; past vice-chair operations Fayette County Republican Party; past first vice-chairman Third District Republican Party; PTO Member; Celebrity Waiter Leukemia Society; Line Creek Civitan Club — Charter Member since 2004 and president (2004-2005); Georgia District of Civitan International Judge Advocate since 2004; State Bar of Georgia — numerous bar committees (1978-Present); member of South Fulton Bar Association — Director (1982-1997), president (1983-1985); member of Fayette County Bar Association — President 2004; Atlanta Bar Association (1978-1983); American Bar Association (1978-1983); Fayette County Impact Fee Committee; participated as evaluator for Griffin Judicial Circuit Mock Court Competition; merit badge counselor for Boy Scouts of America; and chairman of Benefit Golf Tournament to benefit Christian City’s homes for adults with developmental disabilities.

If elected by the citizens of Fayette County, it will be my honor and privilege to serve as your probate judge. I foresee no major changes to be made to our court and I look forward to working with the fantastic team at the probate court to serve the citizens of Fayette County.

Please feel free to contact me by calling my office (770-487-4775) or visiting our website at

Stephen M. Kiser

Candidate for Fayette County Probate Judge

Peachtree City, Ga.

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