Sep. 30—Roger Rozen, chief judge of Marietta's Municipal Court, will retire at the end of October, the city announced. Rozen will be replaced next year, after the mayor and council election in November.
Rozen has served as chief judge for 37 years, having been appointed on Nov. 9, 1983. He previously served as city solicitor (the position now known as prosecutor). Rozen also operates a Marietta-based law firm, Rozen and Rozen, with his son, Adam J. Rozen.
Municipal Court judges are part-time and appointed by the mayor and City Council. The court's jurisdiction is limited to misdemeanor offenses such as DUI, shoplifting of $500 or less and possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana. It also adjudicates violations of city code such as zoning and parking offenses and civil penalties.
City Attorney Doug Haynie told the council Tuesday night that state law requires any judge appointed by council to serve at least one year. The city charter, however, states the municipal court judges should be appointed every four years after the new council is sworn in.
The council will not appoint a chief judge to serve out the rest of 2021. Instead, they will try to work out a solution with the four other municipal court judges to have them rotate and change their schedules so the court's needs are met in the interim period.
City staff will begin advertising the need for Rozen's replacement soon. Mayor Steve "Thunder" Tumlin said the council ought to start interviewing candidates in December so that the new council has a head start on the appointment process come January.
Rozen is out of office this week, his office said, and couldn't be reached for comment.
The city plans to honor Rozen and hold some sort of reception for his service to the city.
"We definitely need to do that," Councilwoman Cheryl Richardson said. "He has been on the court for a very long time, and not only just on the court, he's been very active in the Municipal Judges Association ... just extremely active in just the whole municipal court system, so I think that definitely needs to be recognized."