In 1970 Georgia split the state into eight districts and established State Courts to oversee legal matters in these districts. State Courts have limited jurisdiction over misdemeanors, dispossessions, traffic violations, and civil cases (no matter the amount) unless Superior Courts have exclusive jurisdiction for the case.
State Courts also serve as “accountability courts” that specialize in things like DUIs, and technology and communication. State Courts have their own website with dozens of resources and information on the judges that preside. They even have a map showing each district and what towns fall under which region. Georgia also created The Council of State Court Judges to oversee all State Courts and uphold the rules and regulations for cases. The Council has 122 active members (judges) that serve in over 70 counties. The purpose of the Council is to:
- 1) Support the State Courts.
- 2) Facilitate Relationships within the Judicial Branch.
- 3) Foster Relationships with other branches of Government.
- 4) Inform and interact with the public.
The types of cases resolved by State Courts are tort cases, contract issues, civil appeals, preliminary hearings, misdemeanors and traffic infractions. Although their website does not have a way to search for specific State Courts, they are listed by county, and each one links to a particular website that talks all about that State Court in the area. Some of the State Court websites offer fee listings, e-filing options, forms to download and other helpful resources and links. Each State Court website operates as a single entity.
On average the State Courts handle about 674,676 cases per year. Of that total, 91.7% are criminal; the remaining 8.3% are civil cases.