Atlanta, February 2, 2017 – Superior Court Judge Clarence F. Seeliger of the Stone
Mountain Judicial Circuit (DeKalb) has been designated to serve in place of Justice S.D. Nels
Peterson in the appeal of City of Richmond Hill et al v. Maia (S16G1337). The Supreme Court of
Georgia will hear arguments in the case on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, during its 10:00 A.M. session.
This pre-trial appeal stems from a wrongful death lawsuit brought against a police officer and the
City of Richmond Hill by the mother of a 14-year-old girl who committed suicide several weeks
after the officer showed his own child photographs of the girl’s self-inflicted injuries from a
previous suicide attempt. In addition to hearing arguments in the cases, Judge Seeliger will
participate in the Court’s decision.
Judge Seeliger, 76, has stood for election eight times and prevailed. He is well known for
his position on civil rights, having removed the confederate battle flag from his courtroom early
in his career. He has engaged in the issue of ending domestic violence, and has been recognized
by several organizations for his work in this area. He served six years as Chair of the Georgia
Commission on Family Violence, and three years as Chair of the DeKalb County Domestic
Violence Task Force.
Judge Seeliger received his B.A. from the University of Washington in Seattle, and
obtained his J.D. from Emory University Law School. He is a member of Christ Episcopal
Church in Norcross. He is married to the former Gwen Hagler. They have two children, Cynthia
Siefert, who is an Episcopal priest, and Katherine Ensminger, who is a stay-at-home mom; both
live in Nashville, TN.
(Designated judges are appointed when a Justice must recuse himself or herself from a
particular case. The Supreme Court of Georgia maintains a list of judges from around the state
and when the need arises, the Court appoints the next judge on the list.)