Determine the county of residence of the Defendant. The claim MUST be filed in the county in which the Defendant resides. In the event the Defendant works in the same county as residence, service of the claim may be made at the place of employment if service cannot be accomplished at the Defendant’s residence.
Claims filed in the Magistrate Court can be for monetary remedies only. The monetary limit shall not exceed $15,000.
The small claims process begins in Magistrate Court.
Bring the information regarding your claim to one of the clerks in the Magistrate Court and they will put the information into a computer, have you swear to the information you have provided and notarize your signature. Or you may request a form and have your signature notarized. The filing fee must be paid in the office at the time you file your claim.
You need to furnish the Defendant’s mailing address as well as a good physical address (if different from the mailing address,) so that your claim can be served. Phone number and social security number and where the Defendant works is very helpful.
Once the process is completed, the clerk will send the claim to the Sheriff’s department to be served. The Magistrate Court does not have any involvement in the actual service of the claim. Service is the responsibility of the Sheriff’s department only. All civil papers are served on a first come basis and are served in a timely manner.
If you receive a bankruptcy notice… stop all collection efforts. If the bankruptcy is a Chapter 13 or an asset Chapter 7, file a Proof of Claim with the Bankruptcy Court.
It is the option of each party involved to retain the services of the attorney of their choice; however, being represented by an attorney is not mandatory in Magistrate Court.
IT IS A CRIME IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA FOR CLERKS OR JUDGES IN THE MAGISTRATE COURT TO GIVE LEGAL ADVICE.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL ANY MAGISTRATE JUDGE DISCUSS A CLAIM WITH EITHER PARTY PRIOR TO A HEARING.