DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. - Douglas County’s probate judge — already in trouble with the Judicial Qualifications Commission — now faces new questions over why she ordered a Thailand native to be jailed because she came into the office asking to correct a marriage certificate.
Prachabordee Junnongyai (PJ) Skelton was married on May 3, 2016. She told the FOX 5 I-Team she was raised by her biological uncle and always considered him her father. So she put his name as the father on the marriage license.
Recently, she said she learned her biological father’s name and wondered whether she should correct her marriage certificate.
PJ Skelton found herself in jail after trying to amend her marriage certificate to include the name of the biological father she recently discovered.
Skelton filed a petition on August 2. On August 12, Peterson ordered Skelton to appear in person for a hearing. On that day, she was held in contempt of court for "lying under oath and providing false information to the Court."
Skelton voluntarily came forward to amend her marriage certificate. It landed her in jail.
Skelton was ordered to spend 20 days in the Douglas County jail.
"I never thought of things like that would happen to me," Skelton told the FOX 5 I-Team by phone. "I’ve never done anything wrong in my life."
Peterson allowed Skelton to be released from jail after two days by paying a $500 fine.
This is the eighth public allegation of judicial misconduct leveled against Peterson by the state Judicial Qualifications Commission, despite her being in office less than a year.
That includes ignoring the sheriff’s office rule not to let people into the courthouse without being screened and misleading her neighbors during a legal dispute before she became a judge.
This is the 8th public allegation of judicial misconduct against Christina Peterson. She took office 10 months ago.
In court filings, Peterson said she did nothing wrong and argued Skelton had "knowingly and willingly lied to the Court on her previous application."
Skelton insisted she didn’t know her biological father. She was hesitant to speak about the issue publicly, but said "I don’t want nobody to go through what I went through."
The Supreme Court rejected a petition by the JQC to have Peterson temporarily suspended until a hearing. That won't happen until next year.