About the Magistrate Court
The Magistrate Courts of Georgia were Constitutionally created in 1983, combining and replacing the Justice of the Peace Courts and the Small Claims Courts.
The Magistrate Courts' jurisdiction includes civil claims of $15,000.00 or less, dispossessory writs, personal property foreclosures, county ordinance violations, arrest warrants, search warrants, first appearances, bond hearings, and preliminary hearings, along with a handful of other matters.
Many of the Magistrate Courts' litigants represent themselves and are called "pro se." An overwhelming majority of the litigants in the Decatur County Magistrate Court are pro se; however, an increasing number of parties are represented by attorneys.
The Uniform Rules of Magistrate Courts of the State of Georgia can be found here.
Communicating With the Court
If you plan to file a claim in the Magistrate Court or a claim has been filed against you, please be advised that neither the Judge nor the clerks can provide legal advice to you. Not only is it unethical and improper for the Judge or clerk to give either party legal advice, it is also illegal. In most cases this means that the Judges of this Court are prohibited by law from speaking to you about your case outside of the courtroom. If you have legal questions concerning your case, please consult the attorney of your choice. If you have questions concerning scheduling or forms, please contact the Magistrate Court and one of the clerks will be glad to assist you.