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The Georgia Court System
The Georgia Court System

Supreme Court of Georgia

The Supreme Court of Georgia is this state's highest court. It is a court of review, meaning it is a court for the correction of errors of law. It is not a trial court, and does not make findings of fact. The Supreme Court of Georgia has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over constitutional cases and election contests, and general appellate jurisdiction over cases involving title to land, wills, habeas corpus, extraordinary remedies, divorce and alimony, all cases certified to it by the Court of Appeals, and cases in which a sentence of death was imposed or could be imposed.

Click here to find the web site for the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Court of Appeals

The Court of Appeals is a court of review. It exercises appellate and certiorari jurisdiction in all cases not reserved to the Supreme Court or conferred on other courts of law.

Click here to find the web site for the Court of Appeals of Georgia.

Superior Court

Superior courts are trial courts of general jurisdiction. Superior courts have exclusive jurisdiction over felony cases (except in the case of juvenile offenders as provided by law), prosecuted by the District Attorney's Office, and cases regarding title to land, equity, and divorce. Superior courts have general jurisdiction over civil law cases, misdemeanors, and other cases.

Georgia has 159 superior courts, one in each county. In superior courts, a judge and sometimes a jury hears witnesses' testimony and other evidence and decides cases by applying the relevant law to the relevant facts.

State Court

State courts are trial courts with limited jurisdiction covering misdemeanor and traffic violations, prosecuted by the Solicitor, and all civil actions, regardless of the amount, unless the superior court has exclusive jurisdiction. State courts also handle preliminary felony matters. Georgia has 70 state courts.

Juvenile Court

Juvenile courts exercise exclusive jurisdiction in cases involving delinquent, unruly, and deprived children under the age of 17. Juvenile courts have concurrent jurisdiction with superior courts involving non-capital offenses, custody, child support, and legitimation cases, and termination of parental rights.

Georgia has 159 juvenile courts, one in each county.

Probate Court

Probate courts exercise jurisdiction in traffic violations (in some counties), the probate of wills, the administration of estates, the appointment of guardians, and the involuntary hospitalization of incapacitated adults and other dependent individuals. This court also administers oaths of office and issues marriage licenses and gun permits.

Georgia has 159 probate courts, one in each county.

Magistrate Court

Magistrate courts are courts for civil claims of $15,000 or less, county ordinance violations, applications for and issuance of arrest and search warrants, warrant application hearings, preliminary hearings, dispossessory writs, distress warrants, and deposit account fraud (bad checks). No jury trials are held in this court. Appeals from this court are made to the state or superior court.

Georgia has 159 magistrate courts, one in each county.

Civil Court

Civil courts have a jurisdictional limit of $25,000. Jury trials are held in this court. Appeals from this court are made to the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Georgia has two civil courts, in Richmond and Bibb counties.

Municipal Court

Municipal courts have jurisdiction over ordinance violations and such other jurisdiction as provided by law.

Drug Court

Drug courts are available to some defendants involved in non-violent drug or alcohol related crimes. Except for certain probate or juvenile matters this court may exercise jurisdiction over other cases concurrently with the limited jurisdiction courts.