Judge J.C. Love- Taking the Montgomery County Probate Court to new dimensions

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By Jamal Thomas

Montgomery Probate Judge J.C. Love is taking the Montgomery County Probate Court to new dimensions. A Montgomery Native and Montgomery Public School graduate, Judge Love has made many accomplishments over the last four years. Under his leadership, the Montgomery County Probate Court has achieved several milestones. From improvements in technology to community engagement, J.C. Love has kept the “Love Train” moving in the right direction.

One of The Montgomery County Probate Court’s most recent achievements was getting selected by the Alabama Supreme Court and the Alabama Administrative Office of the Courts to be the state’s first probate court included in the state’s electronic filing court system.

Judge Love takes pride in this achievement. “The implementation of the e-filing system is underway! The system will be a bonus for us on the operations side to assure us of increased efficiency in handling cases. Financially, the system will save us some money regarding printing costs. There will be no costs associated with printing using Our File and the dashboard options will increase the number of orders.”

Another big win for Judge Love has been the launch of the Montgomery County Probate Court Mobile App. “We were the first probate court in the state to have a mobile app to allow people to utilize probate court services without entering the actual office or court. It expedites renewals and service times at the business office tremendously!”

When it comes to addressing mental health in our community, Judge Love ensures that Montgomery County Probate Court is actively engaged. The court added a mental health therapist position, to serve as a resource for the public. Judge Love says that he is pleased with his staff and the court’s work.

“This allows the therapist to use their expertise to assess the needs, align resources to support them, and partner with first responders to support the public. This is helpful in cases where an individual may be in public during a crisis.” Judge Love said. “We have someone on staff that can be dispatched to assess the individual, give them the help they need, and make a petition for commitment if necessary to ensure their most critical needs are met.”

The Montgomery County Probate Court offers many services of which some may not be aware. One is the Archives and Records & Recording services, which Judge Love says is very extensive. He talks to groups, students, and community organizations about the Filing Division. “Our goal is to try to push more awareness of what we have done and what we have and what we have to offer. Many people do not know the full services or duties of the probate court. We are doing more to show them the depths of history, especially the impact of the probate court on Black history and maintaining documentation to support that work.”

One of the Montgomery County Probate Court’s most recent initiatives is the R.E.A.A.C.T. (Real Estate Activity Alert and Contact Tool) Program, which is a free service designed to help protect residents from property fraud. “The program has launched and now we are focusing on getting more people to take advantage of it.” Judge Love said.

The Montgomery County Probate Court has partnered with several organizations, community groups, and churches to host free clinics on wills, estates, and trusts. “We’ve spent time going into the community educating about the benefits of having your estate planning documents, wills, power of attorneys, and advanced healthcare directives or living wills because those are important documents for everyone.”

At these clinics, we educate the community on the estate planning process. Attendees also can learn about conservatorships, guardianships, and power-of-attorney. Judge Love shares why these clinics are important.

“Often, the more bitter fights we see in probate court are where there was not a will. But the reality is some of the things that do not have a lot of monetary value do have sentimental value, and that sentimental value creates lots of fights. Executing an estate plan puts tough decisions in the hands of someone you trust for an inevitable situation. We all will face the door of death and must walk through it. It is best to be prepared.”

Judge Love has also been instrumental in increasing voter engagement and participation with students and citizens in the county. Through partnerships with The Montgomery County Board of Education, The Montgomery City/County Public Library, and the colleges and universities in the county, The Montgomery County Probate County has voter registration kiosks at all public high schools, libraries, and college campuses. “It is our goal to start early with making sure that we educate and engage students in the process, then getting them registered to vote. The libraries are social centers of the community so I thought it would be great to put them there as well.”

In March, Judge Love won the Democratic Primary Election for the seat of county probate Judge. If re-elected in November, he plans to continue his vision of making the Montgomery County Probate Court the leading court in the state and nation. This includes completing the electronic court filing project and hiring a second mental health therapist.

Judge Love also hopes to bolster the development of the archives. “We are making great progress. We’ve recently gotten papers donated from Judge Price and Sheyann Webb-Christburg who was the youngest person on the bridge on Bloody Sunday in Selma.

His other plans include installing voter registration kiosks in the local grocery and furniture stores, adding a drive-thru window at the West Office at Mobile Highway, and bringing more awareness to the R.E.A.A.C.T. Program.

A graduate of the former Jefferson Davis High School, Judge Love is a Morehouse Alumnus. He earned his JD at Boston College. After spending part of his career in Atlanta he decided to return home. His wife, Dr. Porcia Love is also a product of MPS and attended Forest Avenue, Baldwin, and graduated from LAMP. She is an Alumna of the University of Alabama and earned her MD in Dermatology from Duke Medical School and Residency. They have three children.

All rights reserved, Gumptown Magazine, LLC. Copyright 2024.

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