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Finding Court Records in Georgia

Georgia Courts Overview

It helps to understand how the Georgia state court system works when you’re trying to find court records. The Georgia trial court system consists of Superior Courts, State Courts, Juvenile Courts, Probate Courts, Magistrate Courts, Civil Courts, Municipal Courts, and Recorder's Courts.

Superior Courts have general jurisdiction over all types of cases, but typically only handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of other courts. Courts with limited jurisdiction over certain types of cases include State Courts, Juvenile Courts, Probate Courts, Magistrate Courts, Civil Courts, Municipal Courts, and Recorder's Courts.

If you prefer, you can start your search by going to Georgia courts by county.

Georgia Superior Courts

Superior Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, but typically only handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of other courts.

Criminal cases heard by Superior Court include felonies and lesser-included offenses.

Civil cases heard by Superior Court include equity, title to real property and domestic relations.

Each Superior Court has a Family Court division with jurisdiction over divorce and related cases that involve children, such as child support, custody, child abuse, domestic violence, legitimacy and paternity.

Family Court divisions may hear other types of cases, including cases transferred to a Family Court division from other courts.

Georgia State Courts

State Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases.

Criminal cases handled by State Courts include misdemeanor criminal cases and traffic offenses.

Civil cases handled by State Courts include all civil actions not within the exclusive jurisdiction of Superior Courts.

State Courts may share some jurisdiction with other types of courts.

Georgia Juvenile Courts

Juvenile Courts have exclusive original jurisdiction over cases involving children alleged to be delinquent, unruly, deprived, or in need of treatment due to mental illness or “mental retardation.”

Juvenile Courts also handle juvenile traffic offenses and cases involving judicial consent for minors when required for marriage, employment, enlistment, abortion and other circumstances.

Juvenile Courts may handle certain cases for termination of parental rights and other types of juvenile matters, including child custody, paternity or child support cases related to pending Juvenile Court cases or referred by another court.

Juvenile Courts share jurisdiction with Superior Courts over certain crimes committed by juveniles, but Juvenile Courts do not have jurisdiction over certain serious criminal cases that are within the exclusive jurisdiction of Superior Courts, such as murder, rape and armed robbery.

Georgia Probate Courts

Probate Courts have exclusive original jurisdiction to handle cases involving the probate of wills, the administration of estates, guardianships and conservatorships of minors or incompetent persons, involuntary mental health commitments, and other types of probate cases.

If authorization is granted to a Probate Court, other cases may be heard, including some traffic cases, some fish and game ordinance violations, and some criminal commitment hearings.

Georgia Magistrate Courts

Magistrate Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases. Magistrate Courts do not offer jury trials, and if a proper request is made for a jury trial, the case will be transferred to a Superior Court or State Court.

Criminal cases handled by Magistrate Courts include preliminary hearings, some minor criminal offenses, and county ordinance violations.

Civil jurisdiction includes most general civil claims with less than $15,000 in dispute.

Cases typically handled by Magistrate Courts include landlord-tenant cases and deposit account fraud (bad checks). Magistrate Courts may also issue temporary domestic violence protective orders

Georgia Civil Courts

Macon-Bibb and Augusta-Richmond Counties have Civil Courts that handle civil cases involving less than $45,000 (Augusta-Richmond) or $25,000 (Macon-Bibb) in dispute. Civil Courts may offer jury trials to eligible cases. Judges and clerks of Civil Court are also judges and clerks of Magistrate Court.

Georgia Municipal Courts

Some municipalities have established Municipal Courts with limited jurisdiction to handle municipal ordinance violations and preliminary hearings for certain criminal cases.

Some Municipal Courts may share jurisdiction with other courts for certain minor criminal offenses.

Georgia Recorder's Courts

Recorder's Courts handle traffic infractions, city and county ordinance violations, some criminal cases and preliminary hearings for criminal cases.

Georgia Accountability Courts

Some Georgia Courts have special divisions for certain types of cases. These divisions are generally referred to as Accountability Courts but are part of existing courts. Accountability Courts offer comprehensive social services as an alternative to incarceration or other penalties in certain types of criminal and juvenile cases.

Accountability Courts focus on rehabilitation and personal responsibility. Various types of Accountability Courts exist and the services offered vary across the state. Accountability Courts include Adult/Felony Drug Courts, DUI Courts, Juvenile Drug Courts, Family Dependency Treatment Courts, Mental Health Courts, Juvenile Mental Health Courts, Child Support Problem Solving Courts, and Veterans Courts.

Adult/Felony Drug Courts are currently available in the judicial circuits of Appalachian, Atlanta, Atlantic, Augusta, Bell-Forsyth, Blue Ridge, Brunswick, Chattahoochee, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Conasauga, Coweta, Dubln, Eastern, Enotah, Griffin, Gwinnett, Macon, Mountain, Northeastern, Ocmulgee, Ogeechee, Pataula, Piedmont, Stone Mountain, Tallapoosa, Towaliga, Waycross and Western.

DUI Courts are currently available in the judicial circuits of Atlanta, Atlantic, Augusta, Bell-Forsyth, Blue Ridge, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Eastern, Flint, Gwinnett, Northeastern, Ogeechee, Rockdale, Stone Mountain and Western.

Family Dependency Treatment Courts are currently available in the judicial circuits of Appalachian, Atlanta, Augusta, Cherokee, Cobb, Coweta, Douglas, Eastern, Enotah and Northeastern.

Juvenile Drug Courts are currently available in the judicial circuits of Alcovy, Appalachian, Atlanta, Bell-Forsyth, Chattahoochee, Cobb, Coweta, Dublin, Macon, Ocmulgee, Rockdale and Stone Mountain.

Mental Health Courts are currently available in the judicial circuits of Appalachian, Atlanta, Augusta, Bacon, Chattahoochee, Cobb, Dougherty, Eastern, Enotah, Flint, Macon, Northeastern, Ocmulgee, Piedmont, South Georgia, Stone Mountain and Western.

Juvenile Mental Health Courts are currently available in the judicial circuits of Eastern and Stone Mountain.

Child Support Problem Solving Courts are currently available in the judicial circuits of Augusta, Coweta, Flint, Northeastern, Stone Mountain, and Western.

Veterans Courts are currently available in the judicial circuits of Augusta, Chattahoochee, Eastern, and Towaliga.

Where to Find Court Cases in Georgia

The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of Georgia court.

Most Cases = Most or all cases.     Some Cases = Some cases.

Case Type Court Type
Civil Superior Courts State Courts Juvenile Courts Probate Courts Magistrate Courts Civil Courts Municipal Courts Recorder's Courts
General Civil - Unlimited Most or All Cases Some Cases            
General Civil - Limited Some Cases Some Cases     Some Cases Some Cases    
Small Claims         Most or All Cases Some Cases    
Civil Equity Most or All Cases              
Complex Commercial Most or All Cases              
Foreclosures and Liens Some Cases Some Cases     Some Cases Some Cases    
Real Estate Title and Boundary Most or All Cases     Some Cases        
Landlord / Tenant Some Cases Some Cases     Some Cases Some Cases    
Ordinance Violations       Some Cases Most or All Cases   Most or All Cases Most or All Cases
Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders Most or All Cases              
Administrative Agency Appeals Most or All Cases   Some Cases          
Criminal Superior Courts State Courts Juvenile Courts Probate Courts Magistrate Courts Civil Courts Municipal Courts Recorder's Courts
Felony Most or All Cases              
Felony Preliminary Hearings Some Cases Some Cases Some Cases Some Cases Some Cases   Some Cases Some Cases
Misdemeanors Some Cases Most or All Cases   Some Cases Most or All Cases     Some Cases
Ordinance Violations   Some Cases   Some Cases Some Cases   Some Cases Some Cases
Juvenile Some Cases   Most or All Cases          
Traffic and Infractions   Some Cases Some Cases Some Cases     Most or All Cases Most or All Cases
Domestic Relations Superior Courts State Courts Juvenile Courts Probate Courts Magistrate Courts Civil Courts Municipal Courts Recorder's Courts
Divorce Most or All Cases              
Child Custody and Visitation Most or All Cases   Some Cases Some Cases        
Child Support Most or All Cases   Some Cases          
Paternity Most or All Cases   Some Cases Some Cases        
Domestic Violence Protection Order Most or All Cases       Some Cases      
Juvenile Superior Courts State Courts Juvenile Courts Probate Courts Magistrate Courts Civil Courts Municipal Courts Recorder's Courts
Adoptions Most or All Cases              
Juvenile Delinquency     Most or All Cases          
Child Abuse and Neglect     Most or All Cases          
Termination of Parental Rights     Most or All Cases          
Children in Need of Supervision     Most or All Cases          
Mental Health Superior Courts State Courts Juvenile Courts Probate Courts Magistrate Courts Civil Courts Municipal Courts Recorder's Courts
Involuntary Commitments     Some Cases Most or All Cases        
Other Mental Health Cases Some Cases   Some Cases Most or All Cases        
Probate Superior Courts State Courts Juvenile Courts Probate Courts Magistrate Courts Civil Courts Municipal Courts Recorder's Courts
Wills & Estates       Most or All Cases        
Name Changes Most or All Cases              
Trusts       Most or All Cases        
Guardianships and Conservatorships Some Cases   Some Cases Most or All Cases        

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