Magistrate Court Services
* Links included on this page may direct you to a website maintained by an outside source, and are posted on our website in order to provide you with an alternative to additional information which you may find helpful. The content of these websites should not be substituted for professional legal advise.
UNIFORM RULES OF THE MAGISTRATE COURT
These rules are promulgated pursuant to the inherent powers of the Court and Article VI, Section IX, Paragraph I of the Georgia Constitution of 1983, in order to provide for the speedy, efficient and inexpensive resolution of disputes and prosecutions. It is not the intention, nor shall it be the effect, of these rules to conflict with the Constitution or substantive law, either per se or in individual actions and these rules shall be so construed and in case of conflict shall yield to substantive law.more....
The Magistrate Courts are allowed to charge court costs which include the minimum amount allowed by the Official Code of Georgia, in addition to surcharges either allowed by Georgia statutes or local legislation. Court costs for selected actions may also include monies collected by the court and distributed to the Sheriff's Department for service of summons. For a list of court costs charged by the White County Magistrate Court, click on the following link: Filing Fee List
If you are unable to personally appear to file a small claim suit or dispossessory suit in our County, we are proud to offer you a convenient means to file these type suits online using ncourt.com. To go directly to White County's page and find out more how to take advantage of this service, please click on the following link: White County E-File
CRIMINAL WARRANT OR SMALL CLAIM SUIT
The following link will take you to a document created to assist you in understanding this Court's jurisdiction and procedures involving small claims and criminal warrants. Magistrate courts do have other civil remedies available, other than small claim suits, but is limited in its jurisdiction, meaning some issues may only be addressed by the Superior or Probate Courts of White County. If you are unsure as to whether the Magistrate Court has jurisdiction over your issue, please consult an attorney because our office is very limited as to what information or advice we can give to the public.
Guidelines to filing criminal or civil
LANDLORD - TENANT INFORMATION
Title 44, Chapter 7 of the Official Code of Georgia contains laws dealing with landlord-tenant relationships. It would be very wise for landlords and tenants both to read these laws prior to entering into a contract. The Magistrate Court has jurisdiction over all dispossessory suits. There are many helpful websites you may access in order to obtain additional information regarding landlord and tenant issues. Here are a couple of sites that may be helpful:
Georgia Dept. of Community Affairs
Once you have obtained a judgment from the court, there are different ways to collect the judgment if the other party fails to pay as court ordered. Here are a few helpful links explaining ways to collect your judgment: ncourt.com and Gwinnett Courts
PERSONAL PROPERTY FORECLOSURES
Personal property foreclosure actions may be filed on "movable" items such as motor vehicles and household items, and they must be based on a security agreement, contract retaining title, vehicle title, commercial contract, or lease agreement. No money judgments are given, only an order to return the property. Neither the value of property nor the amount of debt may exceed $15,000, or else the action would require filing in the Superior Court of White County. The property must be located in White County, or the defendant must reside in this County. The defendant has within 7 days (of service) to file an answer; however, if defendant fails to answer within 7 days, the law gives them an additional 7 days to answer. If the defendant fails to file an answer within 14 days from the date he/she was served, the plaintiff may request from the Court a Writ of Possession for the property in question. Once the Writ is issued by our Court, you will contact the White County Sheriff's Office to arrange a date and time to execute the Order and take possession of the property. Please see O.C.G.A. 44-14-230 thru 44-14-303 for more detailed information.
ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE INFORMATION
The Abandoned Motor Vehicle process contains strict deadlines which have to be met in order to successfully foreclose on an abandoned motor vehicle. These guidelines can be found in O.C.G.A. 40-11-1 thru 40-11-24 & Georgia Dept. of Revenue - Motor Vehicle Division ( https://dor.georgia.gov/abandoned-vehicles )
There are various types of orders that may be issued by the Superior and Magistrate Courts to protect victims of abuse and harassment. Example of restraining orders issued by the Superior Court are Family Violence Protective Orders and Stalking Protective Orders. Examples of restraining orders issued by the Magistrate Court are Bond Conditions and Good Behavior Bond Orders. For more information on these types of restraining orders, click here. Types of Restraining Orders
Domestic Violence is any felony, battery, assault, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint or criminal trespass between past and present spouses, parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or other persons living or formerly living in the same household. If you feel you are a victim of domestic violence, the following links will take you to some very useful websites specializing in helping victims form safety plans, find a temporary location to seek safety, seek medical treatment, take legal action, and other helpful information. NOTICE: by visiting these websites from a computer the abuser has access to, you may be placed in further danger due to the ability to track viewed web-pages. It would be advisable to use a public computer or any other computer the abuser does not have access to.
White County's local victim's advocate shelter is Circle of Hope
Links to other helpful information: LegalAid-GA.org (Domestic Violence)
Georgia Code defines Deposit Account Fraud, also called Bad Checks, as follows: A person commits the offense of deposit account fraud when such person makes, draws, utters, executes, or delivers an instrument for the payment of money on any bank or other depository in exchange for a present consideration or wages, knowing that it will not be honored by the drawee. For the purposes of this Code section, it is prima-facie evidence that the accused knew that the instrument would not be honored if:
(1) The accused had no account with the drawee at the time the instrument was made, drawn, uttered, or delivered;
(2) Payment was refused by the drawee for lack of funds upon presentation within 30 days after delivery and the accused or someone for him or her shall not have tendered the holder thereof the amount due thereon, together with a service charge, within ten days after receiving written notice that payment was refused upon such instrument... (full text) O.C.G.A. 16-9-20
For more specific information on bad checks, and how to file a bad check in the Magistrate Court of White County, click the following link: Filing a bad check