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Cobb County Appoints Three Magistrate Judges

new magistrate judges
July 28, 2020

Chief Magistrate Judge Brendan F. Murphy has appointed three new part-time Magistrate Judges. Rita Cherry, Toqeer Chouhan and Amanda Perez were selected after an open application and interview process from a competitive field of well-qualified candidates. The Superior Court of the Cobb Judicial Circuit unanimously confirmed Judge Murphy’s appointments. Cherry and Chouhan will be sworn in July 28, and Perez’s swearing-in will be scheduled soon. 
“Rita, Toqeer, and Amanda bring a combined 47 years of legal experience to the Magistrate Court bench,” said Judge Murphy. “Great lawyers and good people, they each share our commitment to improving access to justice for our community. We are excited to have them join our team.”
Judge-designate Rita M. Cherry rejoins the Magistrate Court bench after previously serving in 2015. 
Cherry received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Grambling State University and Juris Doctorate degree from John Marshall Law School. Her career began under the leadership and mentoring of the Hon. Leah Ward Sears, former Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, for whom she clerked as an intern. 
During her career, Cherry formed her own law firm where she represented clients in Employment and Labor cases. She served as a defense attorney with the Cobb County Circuit Defender’s office representing indigent defendants in criminal cases. She worked as an assistant district attorney with the Fulton County District Attorney’s office and thereafter a senior assistant city attorney for the City of Atlanta, where she litigated civil cases and constitutional issues on behalf of municipal government and officials. Cherry also taught law as an adjunct law professor for Georgia Perimeter College.
Cherry has been actively involved in organizations such as the American Bar Association, National Bar Association, National Employment Lawyers Association, Gate City Bar Association, Leadership Academy for Women of Color, the Language Institute of Atlanta, Smyrna Library Club and Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She is actively involved with her church and serves as a mentor for young lawyers. She is a resident of Smyrna.
“Cobb County is home and I am honored to serve,” said Cherry.
Judge-designate Toqeer Chouhan is a native and lifelong resident of Georgia.  
Chouhan earned his law degree from Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law and has a Master of Arts in Business Administration (MBA) from Kennesaw State University. He obtained his undergraduate degree in business administration with dual concentrations in finance and marketing from Berry College in Rome, GA.
Chouhan has been a member of the Georgia Bar since 2005 and is the managing partner of the Chouhan Law Firm, LLC in Cobb County. Through his private practice, he has extensive experience in business and corporate issues as well general civil litigation, domestic relations, criminal, personal injury and collections matters.  
He is an active member of the Cobb County Bar Association and is a resident of Smyrna.
Judge-designate Amanda Perez has been an attorney practicing in Georgia since 2009. 
Perez has handled domestic cases, civil litigation, immigration and criminal defense, particularly specializing in matters where there can be some impact on immigration status. Her emphasis is on helping vulnerable clients navigate the legal system.
She has also served in several roles which are in frequent contact with the judicial system, such as probation officer, bail bondsman, process server and real estate agent. In her private practice Perez represented injured parties recovering unpaid labor as well as negotiations for clients with their creditors.
As a resident of Cobb County for more than 30 years and a criminal justice graduate from Georgia State University, Perez has had ties with Georgia nearly her entire life. She obtained her J.D. from John Marshall Law School. She is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association. In her spare time, she is a dedicated softball mom and motivator to her future baseball slugger. She is a resident of east Cobb.
The Magistrate Court operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Fifteen part-time judges are the backbone of the Peoples’ Court, working in three shifts around the clock considering search and arrest warrants, performing wedding ceremonies, and issuing orders in civil cases. True public servants and a great value for Cobb County taxpayers, part-time judges are paid a small fraction of the standard hourly billing rate of most attorneys in our community.

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Ross Cavitt
Communications Director