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State of Georgia

Methods of Judicial Selection: Georgia

Limited Jurisdiction Courts

Probate Court
Jurisdiction: probate of wills; administration of estates; appointment of guardians; issuance of lunacy commissions and marriage licenses; traffic and truancy in some counties; holding of courts of inquiry; issuance of search and arrest warrants in some cases; miscellaneous misdemeanors
Selection of Judges: partisan election
Retention of Judges: re-election
Qualifications: U.S. citizen; county resident 2 yrs; minimum age of 25; registered voter; completion of initial training course and additional training as required; high school diploma or its equivalent**
Juvenile Court
Jurisdiction: deprived, unruly, delinquent juveniles; juvenile traffic
Selection of Judges: appointed by superior court judges of the circuit*
Retention of Judges: reappointment
Qualifications: state resident 3 yrs; county resident; admitted to practice law 5 yrs; minimum age of 30
Magistrate
Jurisdiction: search and arrest warrants; felony and misdemeanor preliminaries; county ordinances; civil claims < $15,000
Selection of Judges: partisan election/ appointment
Retention of Judges: reelection/ reappointment
Qualifications: county resident 1 yr; minimum age of 25; high school diploma or its equivalent
State Court
Jurisdiction: civil law actions except cases within exclusive jurisdiction of superior court; misdemeanors; traffic; felony preliminaries
Selection of Judges: nonpartisan election
Retention of Judges: reelection
Qualifications: state resident 3 yrs; county resident; minimum age of 25; admitted to practice law 7 yrs

Note: There are approximately 400 special and municipal courts. Selection method and qualifications are set by local legislation.

*The Floyd County judge is the only elected juvenile court judge.

**In counties with populations greater than 96,000, probate judges must have practiced law for seven years and be at least 30 years of age.