Rule 3. Assignment of cases and actions.

 

 

 

Rule 3.1. Method of assignment.

Rule 3.2. Companion and related actions.

Rule 3.3. Exclusive control.

Rule 3.4. Local authority

 

 

Rule 3.1. Method of assignment.

In multi-judge circuits, unless a majority of the judges in a circuit elect to adopt a different system, all actions, civil and criminal, shall be assigned by the clerk of each superior court according to a plan approved by such judges to the end that each judge is allocated an equal number of cases. The clerk shall have no power or discretion in determining the judge to whom any case is assigned; the clerk’s duties are ministerial only in this respect and the clerk’s responsibility is to carry out the method of assignment established by the judges. The assignment system is designed to prevent any persons choosing the judge to whom an action is to be assigned; all persons are directed to refrain from attempting to affect such assignment in any way. If the order or the timing of filing is a factor in determining case assignment, neither the clerk nor any member of the clerk’s staff shall disclose to any person the judge to whom a case is or will be assigned until such time as the case is in fact filed and assigned.

 

Rule 3.2. Companion and related actions.

 

When practical, all actions involving substantially the same parties, or substantially the same subject matter, or substantially the same factual issues, whether pending simultaneously or not, shall be assigned to the same judge. Whenever such action is refiled, or a derivative or companion action is filed or refiled, or a defendant is reindicted on a previous charge, or is indicted on a subsequent charge while still under charges or serving a confinement or probated sentence on a previous action, or co defendants are indicted separately, such actions shall be assigned to the judge to whom the original action was or is assigned. Generally, such actions will be assigned to the judge to whom the action with the lower action number is assigned.

 

Rule 3.3. Exclusive control.

 

The judge to whom any action is assigned shall have exclusive control of such action, except as provided in these rules, and no person shall change any assignment except by order of the judge affected and as provided in these rules. In this regard an assigned judge may transfer an assigned action to another judge with the latter's consent in which event the latter becomes the assigned judge.

 

Rule 3.4. Local authority

 

The method of assignment and the procedures necessary for an orderly transition from one calendaring system to another shall be established by local rules of each multi judge circuit. All such rules shall be adequately published to the local bar; copies shall be filed with the respective clerk(s) and with the Supreme Court of Georgia.