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Georgia State Courts

Courts – State Courts – Georgia

Highest Court

The highest court in Georgia is the Supreme Court of Georgia.  The Supreme Court consists of  7 justices. It has jurisdiction over (1) Appellate jurisdiction over cases of constitutional issue, title to land, validity of and construction of wills, habeas corpus, extraordinary remedies, convictions of capital felonies, equity, divorce, alimony, and election contest. (2) Certified questions and certiorari from Court Appeals.

Intermediate Courts

Court Of Appeals
The Court of Appeals consist of 12 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Appellate jurisdiction over lower courts in cases in which Supreme Court has no exclusive appellate jurisdiction.

General Courts

Superior Court
The Superior Courts consist of 177 judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Civil law actions, misdemeanors, and other cases. (2) Exclusive jurisdiction over cases of divorce, title to land, and equity.(3) Exclusive felony jurisdiction.

Limited Courts

Municipal Court
The Municipal Court consists of 1 judge.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Civil law and landlord-tenant cases (civil) under $7,500. (2) Misdemeanor guilty pleas and preliminary hearings.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.
The Municipal Courts consist of 380 courts.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Ordinance violations, traffic, and criminal preliminaries.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Magistrate Court
The Magistrate Court consists of 159 Chief magistrates and 346 magistrates.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Search and arrest warrants, felony, misdemeanor preliminaries, and misdemeanor bad check violations. (2) Civil claims of $15,000 or less, dispossessories, distress warrants, and county ordinances.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

State Court
The State Court consists of 100 judges and 44 part-time. It has jurisdiction over (1) Civil law actions except cases within the exclusive jurisdiction of superior court. (2) Misdemeanors, traffic, felony preliminaries.
Jury trial

Juvenile Court
The Juvenile Court consists of 28 full-time judges; 28 part-time judges; 33 associate judges; Superior court judges serve in counties without independent juvenile courts. It has jurisdiction over (1) Deprived, unruly, and delinquent juveniles. (2) Juvenile traffic.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Probate Court
The Probate Court consists of 159 judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Exclusive jurisdiction in probate of wills, administration of estates, appointment of guardians, mentally ill, involuntary hospitalizations, and marriage license. (2) Traffic in some counties. (3) Truancy in some counties. (4) Hold courts of inquiry.
Search warrants and arrest warrants in certain cases.

Civil Court
The Civil Court consists of 3 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Warrants. Misdemeanor and felony preliminaries. (2) Civil tort and contract cases under $7,500 for Bibb County; under $36,000 for Richmond County.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

County Recorder’s Court
The County Recorder’s Court consists of 9 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) County ordinances, and criminal warrants and preliminaries.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Additional Information

Georgia Code15-1-1.
The judicial power is vested in such tribunals as are created by the Constitution of this state, such other inferior courts as are or may be established by law, and such persons as are or may be specially invested with powers of a judicial nature.

Judges forbidden to Practice Law
Judges are not allowed to practice law in any court in Georgia.  They may complete any case they were involved in before their election. They are also forbidden from practicing as attorneys, proctors, or solicitors in any district or circuit courts of the United States after their election or while in commission. (Georgia Code 15-6-5)

Jury Time Limits
An individual has to only serve four weeks a year on a grand, trial, or other type of  jury. This fThe only exception is if the individual is actually engaged in the trial of a case when the four weeks expire, in which case he shall be discharged as soon as the case is decided. (Georgia Code, Section 15-12-3)

Liability of Officers of the court
All sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, coroners, jailers, constables, and other officers of the court shall be  liable to all actions and disabilities which they incur in respect of any matter or thing relating to or concerning their respective offices. (Georgia Code 15-13-1)

Attorney Liability
Every attorney who argues or presents a case to the Supreme Court is liable to the clerk for  costs except in an indigency case. (Georgia Code: 15-2-47.)

Legal Aid Agencies
To promote legal aid to indigent people and encourage legal aid agencies, third-year law students will be allowed to receive legal intern training and services at these agencies.
Georgia Code 15-20-2

Inside Georgia State Courts