Juvenile Court Judges

Judge Linda Bratton Haynes was born in Upland, California. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management at the University of North Carolina Charlotte in 1980 and obtained her law degree from Georgia State University School of Law in 1986. During her third year of law school, Judge Haynes wrote a brief on Psychiatric Patient Privilege that was argued before the Georgia Supreme Court and became a landmark decision in the State of Georgia. Immediately after law school, she worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Robert Benham in the Georgia Court of Appeals.

In 1988, Judge Haynes practiced law with Franklin, Moran and Boyle, where she developed the firm’s bankruptcy division. In 1990, she bought out a section of FMB and opened her own successful law practice, Linda Bratton Haynes and Associates, where she practiced bankruptcy, business law, civil and criminal law. In 1998, she was appointed Judge Pro Tem for DeKalb County Juvenile Court. In 2002, she was appointed Associate Judge of the DeKalb County Juvenile Court. Judge Haynes developed the Truancy Awareness Prevention Program (TAPP) that has successfully assisted in reducing truancy in the DeKalb County Schools. Judge Haynes also developed and presides over the first Juvenile Drug Court in DeKalbCounty. It has been recognized as the most efficiently run juvenile drug court in the State of Georgia.

Judge Haynes is a Member of Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges, National Council of family and Juvenile Court Judges, DeKalb Lawyers Association, DeKalb Bar Association and member of the 2008 Leadership DeKalb class, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Additionally, she is Vice President of A Dancer’s Heart Inc. Judge Haynes is also a recipient of the Tupac Shukar Foundation’s Women in Progress Award and the Atlanta Center for Healing Trailblazer Award.

Judge Haynes was sworn in as a full Juvenile Court Judge on December 19, 2013 and as Chief Judge of DeKalb County Juvenile Court on January 1, 2016.


Desiree Sutton Peagler, a native Alabamian, served as the Chief Judge of the DeKalb County Juvenile Court 2005 – 2015. Judge Peagler received her undergraduate degree from Troy University and her juris doctor degree from Emory University School of Law. Prior to her appointment as an Associate Judge at the Court in 1997, Judge Peagler served as an Assistant District Attorney in DeKalb County for approximately 9 years. A graduate of Leadership DeKalb, Judge Peagler has served on the Board of Trustees for the DeKalb County Public Library, the Board of Directors for The Decatur Rotary Club, the Board of Directors for the DeKalb Council on Literacy, and the Advisory Council for Youth Leadership DeKalb. She served on the Supreme Court of Georgia’s Committee for Justice for Children, has been a member of the DeKalb Bar Association and the DeKalb Lawyers Association, served on the Board of Directors for Leadership DeKalb and has worked in various capacities for many other professional and community organizations.

In February, 2010, Judge Peagler received a Distinguished Service Award from the DeKalb History Center recognizing her as “an exceptional Law and Justice leader who made a positive impact on DeKalb County.” Additionally, the Mayor and City Council of the City of Doraville named February 1, 2011 in Judge Peagler’s honor. The former Chief Executive Officer of DeKalb County, LianeLevetan, issued a proclamation declaring September 19, 1997, as Desiree Sutton Peagler Day in DeKalb County in recognition and commendation of her “diligence, patience, wisdom, and outstanding performance.” Judge Peagler previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Green Pastures Christian Schools, and the Board of Directors of the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center. Judge Peagler was a member of the executive committee of the United Negro College Fund, DeKalb County Committee, and served on the Executive Committee of the Council of Juvenile Court Judges of Georgia until the expiration of her term. Judge Peagler is also a member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and a member of the Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges. She has worked on various committees and task forces for various other organizations in the county.

Under Judge Peagler’s leadership, the DeKalb County Juvenile Court has received national and local recognitions for various court-based initiatives. The Court received the Bright Idea award from Harvard University, Kennedy School of Business and the Recognition of Excellence award at a Workforce Innovations conference in Anaheim, California. Additionally, the Court received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Georgia Council of Court Administrators for its Sex Offender Standards Manual. Recognizing the need for a more focused approach to community supervision of court-involved youth, the court implemented a program within the DeKalb County School District to place a school-based probation officer in middle and high schools in 2009. In 2010, the court became the 2nd court in the state to create a Juvenile Mental Health Court to address the specialized needs of youthful offenders with underlying mental health and behavioral disorders. The court has proactively sought funds to support evidence-based programs for court-involved youth, securing more than 1.7 million dollars in grant funds in 2013 alone. In 2013, the court was selected as one of 23 sites nationwide to receive a DOL grant for the Youth Creating Change Program to further its mission.


Judge Vincent C. Crawford, a Savannah native, graduated with honors from Florida A&M University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. He received his law degree from MercerUniversity in 1990 and graduated from law school with honors in the area of trail advocacy. Judge Crawford began his legal career with Georgia Legal Services in the fall of 1990 and with a primary practice of representing battered women in divorce proceedings. In 1993, he began his career as a prosecutor with the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office and as a Deputy Chief of the violent crimes division. He joined the DeKalb County District Attorney’s office in April of 1995 and served on the DeKalb County District Attorney’s office trial team for 2 years.

In April, 1997, Judge Crawford began his solo practitioner career in the areas of domestic, juvenile, and criminal law. On February 27, 2005, he was appointed to the position of Associate Magistrate Judge for DeKalbCounty. Judge Crawford was sworn in as an Associate Juvenile Court Judge for the DeKalb Juvenile Court on March 24, 2006. Judge Crawford is a member of the Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges and the National Council of Family and Juvenile Court Judges. In 2009, Judge Crawford received the Georgia Department of Human Resources & Youth Empowerment Award in addition to his receiving the Romae T. Powell Award from the Juvenile Court Association of Georgia for his outstanding contribution and dedicated services to the field of Juvenile Justice. On March 31, 2012, Judge Crawford received the Recognition of Outstanding Leadership Award from Jack and Jill of America, Inc. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

In 2011, he was appointed Chairman by the Supreme Court of Georgia for the Juvenile Court Improvement Initiative.

Judge Fatima A. El-Amin is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. She attended W. D. Mohammed High School in DeKalb County and graduated as Co-Valedictorian of her class. Judge El-Amin completed her collegiate studies at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and graduated cum laude with a dual B.A. degree in Psychology and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Her senior honors thesis titled, “The Hijab: Investigating the Relationship between Traditional Islamic Dress and Self-Esteem among African-American Muslim Women,” received Magna Cum Laude distinction at Harvard. Judge El-Amin returned to Atlanta, Georgia, and received her J.D. degree from Emory University School of Law in 2000. She was the recipient of the Emory Law School Dean’s Public Service Award.

Judge El-Amin’s legal career began (and spanned four years) as an Assistant District Attorney in DeKalb County. She prosecuted adult and juvenile offenders in the Superior Court and Juvenile Court divisions of the District Attorney’s Office. She also worked in the Condemnations and White Collar Crime divisions of the office. As an appellate attorney in the D.A.’s office, Judge El-Amin tendered briefs and oral arguments before both the Georgia Supreme Court and the Georgia Court of Appeals.

In 2004, Judge El-Amin joined a private real estate practice in East Point, Georgia, and represented clients in commercial property disputes. A year later, Judge El-Amin returned to public interest law as a Senior Attorney in the DeKalb County Child Advocacy Center. She was quickly promoted to Supervising Attorney, and was responsible for overseeing litigation and advocacy efforts on behalf of abused and neglected child-clients. She remained with the Child Advocacy Center for nearly ten years until April 2014, when she was appointed as a full Juvenile Court Judge by the Superior Court Judges of DeKalb County.

Judge El-Amin is active in several civic and philanthropic causes. Most recently, she sat on the executive boards of ForeverFamily and Camp Butterfly, organizations dedicated to the empowerment of disadvantaged youth. She is a former Associate Legal Producer for a nationally-syndicated court television program, and a former co-host of “The Circle”, a local cable television program highlighting the perspectives and contributions of leading women in Atlanta.