Kathlene F. Gosselin, Chief Judge of the Northeastern Judicial Circuit serving Hall and Dawson counties, plans to retire when her current term ends in 2024, concluding 38 years of service on the bench.
“I am grateful to the people of Hall and Dawson counties for allowing me to serve as a judge, alongside many fine judges and staff, for all these years,” Judge Gosselin said. “It has been important to consistently learn ways to improve our justice system to make sure we are fair to all and efficiently use the resources we are allocated. Presiding over mental health court has allowed me to see so many people change their lives, given the appropriate tools to cope with both mental health and substance abuse issues, and has offered me joy in a profession that rarely offers that.”
Judge Gosselin was elected as a Hall County State Court Judge in 1986, the first woman elected judge in the county. She was subsequently appointed to the Superior Court bench by then-Governor Zell Miller in 1998. She has been reelected without opposition eight times.
Originally from Illinois, Judge Gosselin first came to Gainesville in 1980 after graduating from the University of Chicago Law School. In 2018, she was named the Circuit’s Chief Judge by her Superior Court colleagues, a position that Judge Jason J. Deal will take over.
“Judge Gosselin has been a personal mentor and a state-wide leader for years,” said Judge Deal. “Though small in stature, she leaves very large shoes to fill. Although our circuit will miss her leadership in the coming years, we will continue to benefit and build on the foundation her decades of hard work and vision has established.”
Judge Gosselin has been an exceedingly active participant in the local community and the State of Georgia. She founded the circuit’s first mental health court in 2004 and a veteran’s accountability court in 2014. She has served on the boards of Gateway House and Gainesville Community Foundation, as well as being a member of Gainesville Rotary Club. She has served as president of the Council of State Court Judges, the Council of Accountability Court Judges, and the Council of Superior Court Judges, as well as serving on numerous state-wide commissions and committees to ensure the Georgia court system is the best it can be.
While Judge Gosselin looks forward to spending more time with her children and grandchildren, she also plans to accept Senior Judge status upon retirement, which will allow her to continue to serve the community by presiding in court when needed.