Gilmer County

Magistrate Judge

1 Broad Street Suite 203
Ellijay, Georgia 30540
Telephone: (706) 635-2515
Fax: (706) 635-7756
Chief Magistrate
Roger Kincaid
Magistrate
Joseph Murphy
Clerk
Jamie Gibbs

Filing Fees

Effective May 12th, 2010.

Civil Action - One Defendant $106.00
(for each individual to be served, add) $50.00
Post-Judgement Interrogatories $10.00
Plus certified mail $6.48
(for personal service, add) $50.00
Dispossessories $81.00
(for each individual to be served, add) $25.00
Foreclosure $106.00
Garnishments
(plaintiff is responsible to mail copy of garnishment to Defendant by certified mail.)
$106.00
Defendant served personally, add sheriff's service fee $50.00
Fieri Facia (Fi-Fa)
($5.00 needs to be made out to Clerk of Superior Court.)
($4.00 needs to be made out to Magistrate Court.)
$9.00
To cancel Fi-Fa (this goes to Superior Court)
(And should be done within 60 days of being satisfied.)
$7.00
Subpoena $3.00
Sheriff's Service Fee  
    Civil $50.00
    Dispossessory $25.00
Abandoned Motor Vehicle Petition $10.00
Warrant Application $20.00
Deposit Account Fraud Warrant  
Misdemeanor $10.00
Felony $20.00
Fee to dismiss any warrant $147.00

Procedures for Prosecution of BAD CHECKS / DEPOSIT ACCOUNT FRAUD WARRANT

The check MUST be in exchange for present consideration, wages, rent past or presently due, state taxes, or child support.

The check should have deposited within thirty (30) days of accepting the check. The thirty (30) days shall begin on the first full day following receipt of the check.

A letter must be sent certified mail to the writer of the check and mailed to the address on the check or an address given at the time the transaction occurred. The letter must be mailed within 90 days of receipt of the check.

The letter MUST contain all of the following details:

  1. Check number, bank, amount, check date
  2. Allowance for the full 10 days
  3. Total amount including service charge (service charge shall not exceed $30.00)
  4. Clear wording that if the amount is not paid within 10 days the holder of the check will seek a criminal remedy. The terms jail, arrest, legal action, further action, or prosecution are not sufficient.

A Post-Dated check can NOT be prosecuted criminally.

A check written for a loan repayment or for an installment payment can NOT be prosecuted criminally.

Should you desire the appropriate steps for collection/prosecution of a three party check, please contact the Magistrate Office.

Application for Bad Checks / Deposit Account Fraud Warrant and Sample of a Bad Check Letter

Procedures for Filing of SMALL CLAIMS

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 $15,000.00.

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.

Application for Small Claims/Statement of Claim

Procedures for Filing of DISPOSSESSORY

Before any Dispossessory Action may begin, the Landlord MUST make a demand for possession of the property. The demand may be VERBAL or WRITTEN. This procedure MUST be perfected prior to the issuance of a Dispossessory.

The only LEGAL way a Landlord can remove a Tenant or the Tenant's Possessions from the Rented Premises without the Tenant's expressed permission is by filing a Dispossessory.

The most common ground for Dispossession is the Tenant's failure to pay rent when it becomes due. When this is the grounds for Dispossession, the rent must be past due before the Dispossessory process can begin.

When grounds for Dispossession are other than that of non-payment of rent, a sixty (60) day notice for the Tenant to vacate the premises is required. This notice may be oral, however, it is recommended that the notice be given in writing.

After the Dispossessory has been issued, it must be recorded in Magistrate's and the Filing Fee is due at that time. The Dispossessory is then sent by the Clerk to the Sheriff's Department to be served. The Gilmer County Sheriff's Department is responsible for service on all Civil Cases which are handled on a first come first serve basis. The Magistrate Office has no input or control over the service of Civil Papers. The Sheriff's Department does serve all Civil Papers in a timely manner.

The two types of service are as follows:

Once the Dispossessory has been served, the Tenant has seven (7) days to file an answer to the Dispossessory suit. The law allows the Tenant to file an answer which in turn sets a hearing so both parties can relate their account of the facts to the court. All possible efforts are made to have the hearing with 5 working days to keep from prolonging the eviction process.

At the hearing, it is the Landlord's responsibility to prove his claim. After a Judgment is awarded and signed, you have three options to satisfy the judgment, (1) cash, (2) a Fi-Fa, (3) Garnishment of wages and/or bank accounts. These procedures begin in the Magistrate Court office.

Writ of Possession can only be done after a Judgment is signed by the Magistrate Judge. The Judgment will include a date specifying when the Tenant must have the residence vacated. If after midnight on the specified date the Tenant has not moved, it is the Landlord's responsibility to notify the Magistrate Office of this fact on the NEXT business day during business hours. At that time, the Magistrate Judge will sign a Writ that will be taken to the Sheriff's Department to be served. The Sheriff's Department will contact the Landlord concerning the execution of the Set Out Order.

If the Tenant does not or will not remove his belongings from the premises, the Sheriff's Department will make an inventory of the items to be moved.

IT IS THE LANDLORD'S RESONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE TENANT'S BELONGINGS REMOVED FROM THE RESIDENCE.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT PHYSICALLY REMOVE ANY ITEM FROM THE RESIDENCE.

After the Tenant's belongings are set out, the Landlord is not held responsible for those belongings.

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.

Application for Dispossessory/Affidavit for Dispossessory