Civil courts handle jury trials in civil matters. There is a jurisdictional limit of $25,000 placed on civil courts. There are two courts of this type in the state and they are located in Bibb County and Richmond County. Appeals from civil courts are made directly to the Georgia Court of Appeals.
Municipal courts have limited jurisdiction over violations of city ordinances, the issuance of criminal warrants, and traffic violations within city limits. Municipal courts also conduct preliminary hearings. There are 370 municipal courts that are funded by the city or town in which they preside. 350 judges oversee the courts and they are either appointed or elected.
Each of the 159 counties in the state of Georgia has a magistrate court. Funded by the county, magistrate court has limited jurisdiction over civil matters such as county ordinance violations, check fraud, landlord/tenant disputes, and eviction proceedings. Criminal matters in which magistrate courts have jurisdiction include certain minor offenses, holding preliminary hearings, issuing warrants to law enforcement officials and in some cases setting bail for defendants. There are 159 Chief Magistrates that are either elected or appointed depending on the county. An additional 354 Magistrates that have been appointed by the Chief Magistrate serve...
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... diploma, and must be a county resident for at least one year. Position of magistrate is gained either through appointment or partisan countywide election. State court judges are elected through nonpartisan countywide elections and must be a county resident. They must be at least 25 years of age, have 7 years experience practicing law, and be a state resident for a minimum of 3 years. Superior Court judges are required to have 7 years experience practicing law, be a circuit resident, be a state resident for a minimum of 3 years, and be no younger than 30. Superior court judges are elected in nonpartisan countywide elections.
Supreme Court and Court of Appeals judges are elected in nonpartisan statewide elections. Mid-term vacancices are filled by appointment. State law requires that nominees are state residents and have practiced law for a minimum of seven years.
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