Retiring Judge Joan Bloom set to begin her next chapter
by Kim Isaza
November 30, 2012 08:25 AM | 5286 views | 11 11 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As for her work as Magistrate Judge, retiring Joan Bloom says it includes a lot of abused women and children and other dysfunctional family matters ... sometimes it’s ‘a lot like Jerry Springer court'<br>Staff/Laura Moon
As for her work as Magistrate Judge, retiring Joan Bloom says it includes a lot of abused women and children and other dysfunctional family matters ... sometimes it’s ‘a lot like Jerry Springer court'
Staff/Laura Moon
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Magistrate Judge Joan Bloom has announced her retirement after 13 years on the bench in what she calls “the emergency room of the judicial system.”

“Every single day, there’s something different,” she said. Her last day will be Dec. 31.

Bloom, 56, said she doesn’t have firm plans for her next chapter, but she’s not done with the legal life.

“I’d like to be like Jack Mallard and be a role model for someone else and share my experience,” she said, referring to the retired Fulton County prosecutor who handled the high-profile Atlanta child murderer Wayne Williams case and then came to Cobb as an assistant district attorney.

“He and Russ Parker, too, they were our role models, and we looked up to them. They had so much knowledge to share,” she said. “So I don’t know what I’m going to be doing, but I’d like to do something similar.”

Bloom was an assistant district attorney in Cobb for more than a decade, from 1986 to 1998, during Tom Charron’s tenure as District Attorney, and she was the only female on the team that prosecuted Fred Tokars, convicted of arranging the murder of his wife Sara, who was killed 20 years ago this week.

Charron, now the administrator of Superior Court, said Bloom came highly recommended from the Gwinnett County DA’s office when he hired her.

“She’s a very bright lawyer with a tremendous command of the law,” he said. “Now that her children are grown and she has the time, I think the sky’s the limit for Joan. Whatever she does, she’ll be very successful.”

Bloom, who has been married for nearly 30 years to Neil Bloom, a retired Lassiter High School teacher and soccer coach, said the most important part of her job has been hearing requests for temporary protective orders from people who’ve been battered in domestic violence, or are the victim of stalkers.

“Typically, an abused woman will come in here, and many times she’s crying. Sometimes she’s bloody. It’s really sad. She’s homeless, maybe. The TPO is an order to keep (the abuser) away from her, mainly. It might give her custody of the children, and maybe the home, so she has a safe place to stay,” Bloom said. “Doing that, you save lives.

“Then a week later is where you hear from both sides, and sometimes it’s Jerry Springer court,” she said. “You’re taking away this guy’s house, you’re taking away his kids, taking away his money. I take that really seriously. It’s not an automatic rubber stamp for a woman. … You’ve often got to dig through a lot of dysfunction, but somewhere in there, you really do make a difference, I think.”

Bloom grew up in inner-city Miami and came to Atlanta in the early 1980s to attend law school at Emory University. She credits that upbringing with preparing to be a prosecutor, “because you see some ugly stuff.”

“Being an ADA really prepared me for this job, and this job, hopefully, has really prepared me for whatever the next chapter is,” she said.

She was first appointed as a magistrate judge by Chief Magistrate T.O. Sturdivant in 1999, and has since been reappointed to successive four-year terms by current Chief Magistrate Frank Cox. Bloom is also unabashed in her praise for Cobb Police and the Cobb Sheriff’s Office.

“There are great officers in every precinct, but especially in precinct 2, the war zone in south Cobb,” she said. “And there’s no better Sheriff’s Office. I’d like to see any Sheriff’s Office run a jail as efficiently, with no problems and no escapes.” Cobb Police Lt. Tim Brooks, who commands both the VIPER and quality- of-life units, said Bloom “has been marvelous for our county.”

VIPER is an acronym for Violent Incident Prevention and Early Response.

“If we make a mistake, she helps us learn from that,” Brooks said. “She helps teach officers to make better cases for the future. She’s a mentor.”

Bloom and her husband have two adult sons, David, 26, a teacher and soccer coach, and Mark, 25, who is a newlywed and plays professional soccer. Bloom says she’ll likely spend some time traveling to Mark’s games, though she said he could end up playing next season with the Atlanta Silverbacks.

Bloom said retirement will also give her time to do more with her church, Mt. Bethel United Methodist, and as a member of the Marietta Kiwanis club.

Comments
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cobbresident
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July 15, 2014
I guess we all see different sides of people. I see this woman as nothing but a jerk who misused her position. She put in shackles for hours for a non issue. I was locked up in a room for almost a day without any idea of what I did. Even the Sherrif deputies did not know what I did. She did not give me a chance to explain myself. I am a CPA and a businessowner in Cobb County, probably graduated from college before she did. What an abuser of judicial power.

DJ H
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December 03, 2012
Judge Bloom is as good as gold and will be missed.

Ma'am, thank you for conduct and leadership from the bench and enjoy your next step in life. You deserve the best and know there are countless that will miss seeing your name on their subpoena.
Go away
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December 01, 2012
Dont go away mad. Just go away
Missed Greatly
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November 30, 2012
Judge Bloom will be missed greatly.

To the person whom said she is unprofessional by complementing the police on their hard work and dangerous job... Her being pro-law enforcement is being better than pro-criminal and pro-defense atty's like Judge Cox, making back room deals with defense atty's at the risk of public safety, lowering bonds without hearing, giving OR bonds on serious crimes, not sending drug traffickers to prison. What a joke.
oh yea
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December 02, 2012
This is so true, all kind of back room deals with cox with certain attorneys!
Cut the Budget
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November 30, 2012
How much money could Cobb County save by not filling her position? Seems like there are an awful lot of magistrates and none of them are on the bench very much.
Two Magistrates
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November 30, 2012
There are only two full time magistrates in Cobb County. The others are part-time judges, approving arrest warrants from officers on the road etc... The two full time magistrates have full schedules doing the daily buisness of the Magistrate Court,PC hearings, county ords,bond revocations,drug court etc.

I'm all for a smaller government. But pick and choose the right places to cut. The judical system isn't where I would want cuts.
goodriddensyes
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November 30, 2012
I'm so glad she is leaving! She is so pro-prosecution that it is pathetic. The ways she dotes on the officers of ccpd is just disgusting.

Very unproffesional
Mike McKinnon
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November 30, 2012
goodriddensyes you are coward and a killjoy. This article was about a person serving the citizens of Cobb County for 27 years. You attempt to bring it down with your own perceptions. If a judge is liberal and leans left giving the accused the benefit of the doubt thats fine with you. Judge Bloom has given officers that have worked all night the option of appearing first in her court in the morning. Those same officers often have to be back in the in the afternoon for court again. Then they return to work again that night. So they get two periods of broken sleep of two hours og non rem sleep. Please leave your real name next time and lighten up. Judge Bloom thank you for your service to all of us. We could use more like you that consider the schedules of others, lord knows attorneys are allowed conflicts.
tim tim
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November 30, 2012
The comments of "goodriddensyes" are obviously the ramblings of a recidivist. I've been with the county for about 15 years and although I hope she enjoys her future projects I hate to see her leave.
Call it like it is
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December 03, 2012
I see how you could misunderstand those kinds of words from her... because she will tell an officer that worked all night, came straight into court, hasn't seen his family yet, and had to fight a suspect to bring him into custody (for example) that the officer should get a thank you for the job he did. And she will do it in front of her entire court...

BUT she will also call an officer out, rightly so, in front of the same court, if he was unprofessional, showed up late to her court without cause, etc.

She calls it like it is... and that doesn't sit well with so many in today's society. I, respectfully, disagree with your statement and believe it's now time for Judge Bloom to receive her thank you.
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