Magistrate Court

COVID-19 Update. (Page will be updated as changes occur)



 The Magistrate Court takes public health and safety seriously. Therefore, during these uncertain times and pursuant to the Order Declaring Statewide Judicial Emergency issued by the Supreme Court of Georgia which has been extended through October 10, 2020, we will be implementing the following changes until further notice:
  • The Magistrate Court office is open for business normal hours. If filing in person, the clerk's office may be open "by appointment" only. Their contact information is listed at the end of this notice. Please do not drop Dispossessory Answer forms in the red box located outside of the Clerk's Office as a court date is given at the time the answer is submitted. 
  • If a landlord wishes to file a dispossessory they can mail the filing to PO Box 7 Jefferson, Ga. 30549. Magistrate forms are available under the "forms" tab on our website.
  • We have implemented COVID 19 precautions for hearings. Those precautions have been attached to the most used forms on our website as well as those in the clerks office.  Please read these precautions. We ask that all parties participate via Zoom if possible and they must contact the Judicial Office Administrator via email to acknowledge participation in this manner. If both parties agree then Zoom instructions will be emailed. 
  • All preliminary hearings and first appearances will still take place as scheduled at the courtroom within the Jackson County Sheriff's Office Detention Center. Beginning in July those hearings will begin to transition to Zoom hearings as well for those who desire to conduct hearings via teleconference rather than in person. 
  • At this time, we ask that all new filings be submitted to the Clerks Office via mail rather than in person to PO Box 7 Jefferson, GA. 30549. Please note that most forms must be notarized prior to mailing. 
  • Please contact the Clerks Office at (706) 387-6249 with any questions regarding filings and to make appointments, if necessary, to file. If you have questions concerning a court date please contact the Magistrate office directly at (706) 387-6355.
Magistrate Courts are the successors to the justice courts and a wide variety of other courts of limited jurisdiction. The Magistrate Court is most accessible to the public. The individual, encouraged by the lack of formality, as the Magistrate Court is not a court of record, may file a criminal complaint or a civil action without the assistance of an attorney if he so wishes.

Appeal Decisions


Law binds the Magistrate Court to do substantial justice. This does not mean every individual entering the Magistrate Court system is going to win their case, but hopefully they will have felt they have been and have had their day in court. If a party is not satisfied with a decision made by a magistrate in a civil matter, the individual may appeal their case to State or Superior Court in what is called a de novo appeal.

Hearings


The Magistrate Court not only hears civil actions, but also conducts hearings and trials on criminal cases, such as ordinance violations. The Magistrate Court will hear applications, and issue arrest warrants for law enforcement officers and private citizens if probable cause is found to do so. After hearing a law enforcement officer's sworn affidavit determining probable cause, a magistrate may then issue a search warrant. Magistrate Court of Jackson County does not allow for any defendant(s) or witness to be served via a Process Server.