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Judge Stephen N. Knights, Jr: A Man for the Law and the People

Updated: Jun 8


Judge

Written By Marvella Nesbitt

 Judge Stephen N. Knights, Jr., Henry County State Court Judge, is a man of the law and a man for the people. Judge Knights is driven by a personal connection to his values. A primary goal is to be fair and impartial in his service to the community. This commitment is not just a choice, but is a necessity. "For me, it is not optional. Fairness and impartiality has to happen every day, and that's what I do. Whether it's a plaintiff or a defendant on a civil case, or whether it is the State or defendant on a criminal matter, each party will have their Constitutional rights secured and intact," affirms Judge Knights. 

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Judge Stephen N. Knights, Jr. assures litigants, new and seasoned attorneys, and anyone who enters his Courtroom that they can feel secured in their legal protections. Judge Knights understands that his role is crucial in ensuring the rights of all parties. For example, in a criminal case, a young man entered the courtroom and wanted to enter into a plea without representation. Judge Knights explained that, "This happens often where a litigant may represent themself, pro se, and not have a lawyer just because they want to [rush] their case and enter into a plea. A person has to enter a plea knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily. The Court's responsibility at all times is to inform litigants of their rights. The court cannot presume the person read their rights or can understand their rights. Before accepting a plea, the Court must inquire and be certain that the person is giving up any rights freely and voluntarily, without any threat or force." Judge Knights completely knew his duty to inform the individual, in that scenario, before considering accepting a plea. This example, and many others, demonstrates the importance of Judge Knights' role in ensuring fairness and impartiality. 


     Moreover, Judge Knights' commitment to punctuality is not just a personal trait but a professional necessity. When presiding over judicial matters, time is of the essence. Judge Knights' accountability for time, instilled in him by his parents, shaped his professional life. This virtue makes him a Judge who values and respects the time of all parties involved in a case. He recalled his experiences as a Lawyer, traveling to other counties hours away, and even when counties were nearby, he always made an effort to be there on time. "Punctuality for the Judge affects everyone else's day. For example, one judge was so late that morning, everything had to be rescheduled for that afternoon. Folks now had to find a place to eat lunch, and they may have already had plans to be somewhere in the afternoon. All of those things had to be rescheduled. People, for example, had to determine who would pick up the kids from school or who would cover their shift at work. Those are the variables I think about because I experienced them first-hand." Consequently, Judge Knights urges all litigants to arrive early to Court to avoid unforeseen delays and expect him to start at the appointed time.

Additionally, Judge Knights, known for his compassion and humanity in the community he serves, is not just a figure of authority but a familiar face in public mattersHis deep-rooted connection to the people is evident in his words and actions. "Being a part of the community where I live and serve is not something uncommon. I'm always present, whether it is for my children, for sporting events, musicals, or field trips, and other events. These are things I always do." Judge Knights' daily activities within his community allow him to interact naturally with the citizens he serves. Judge Knights' views that the importance of a well-functioning community is a cornerstone of his dedication to public service.


     Lastly, Henry County State Court Judge Stephen N. Knights, Jr. expressed that this is not just a job but his passion: "I wake up everyday thankful for the opportunity to do what I do. I translate that into letting the younger and older generations or anyone know they should always follow their dreams. I share this message in the Courtroom, when visiting schools, career days, symposiums, or whatever it may be, outlining the roadmap to becoming a Lawyer or Judge to young people." As an example, Judge Knights invited the two-time winning Champions of the Creekside Basketball team to his courtroom, a testament to the personal connection he established with the community. It was an opportunity for the Coaches and team members to see the Court in a positive light. Judge Knights stated that, "although they are athletes, they are also Scholars. I encouraged the Creekside team to follow their educational goals as I have pursued, and follow their dreams to success." 


      Judge Stephen N. Knights, Jr. continues to lead by example and follows his passion for serving the citizens of Henry County as your State Court Judge, serving with fairness and impartiality, securing the rights of all, and serving with compassion and humanity." 


The Journey of Judge Knights


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The Honorable Judge Stephen N. Knights Jr.



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