2Courts of the State Court System Municipal Court. Magistrate Court Probate Court State Court Superior Court Courts of Appeals State Supreme Courts
3Municipal Court Jurisdiction includes: Municipal ordinance violations Issue criminal warrantsConduct preliminary hearingsMay have concurrent jurisdiction overshoplifting casesCases involving possession of one ounce orless of marijuana
4Magistrate Court Jurisdiction includes: Civil claims of $15,000 or lessCertain minor criminal offensesDistress warrants and dispossessory writsCounty ordinance violationsSummonsArrest and Search warrants.Magistrates may grant bail in cases where the setting of bail is not exclusively reserved to a judge of another court.No jury trials are held in magistrate court.
5Probate Court Has exclusive, original jurisdiction: The probate of willsAdministration of estatesAppointment of guardiansInvoluntary hospitalization of incapacitated adults and other individuals.Georgia Probate Courts maintain:Vital records including:Birth certificatesMarriage licensesDeath certificatesIssues gun permits.
6Probate Court All probate court judges Administer oaths of office Issue marriage licensesThey may hold habeas corpus hearings or preside over criminal preliminary hearings.Unless a jury trial is requestedProbate court judges may also hearCertain misdemeanorsTraffic casesViolations of state game and fish lawsIn counties where there is no state court
7State Court Established by a 1970 legislative act Designated certain existing countywide courts of limited jurisdiction as state courts.State courts may exercise jurisdiction over:All misdemeanor violationsIncluding traffic casesAll civil actionsRegardless of the amount claimedUnless the superior court has exclusive jurisdiction.
8State Court State courts are authorized Hold hearings on applications for an issuance of search and arrest warrantsHold preliminary hearings.The Georgia Constitution grants state courts authority to review lower court decisions as provided by statute.Traffic Court
9Superior Court Georgia’s general jurisdiction trial court. It has exclusive, constitutional authority over:Felony casesDivorceEquityCases regarding title to land
10Superior CourtThe exclusive jurisdiction of this court also covers such matters as:Declaratory judgmentsHabeas corpusMandamusQuo warrantoProhibition
11Superior Court The superior court corrects errors made by lower courts By issuing writs of certiorariFor some lower courtsThe right to direct review by the superior court applies.Superior courts are organized into:10 Judicial DistrictsComprised of 49 judicial circuits.
12Superior Court Each county has its own superior court A judge may serve more than one county.A chief judge handles the administrative tasks for each circuit.Highest court with general jurisdictionTrial court
13Court of Appeals The court of first review for Many civil and criminal cases decided in the trial courts.The purpose of such a review is:To correct legal errors or errors of law made at the trial levelNot to alter jury verdicts or the outcome of bench trials.The Court of Appeals has twelve judgesAssigned to one of four panels made up of three judges each
14Court of Appeals Once a case is assigned to a panel Judges review The trial transcriptRelevant portions of the recordBriefs submitted by the attorneys for the parties.Panels also hear oral arguments in a small number of cases.Panel decisions are final unless one judge dissents.If necessary, a case may be reviewed by the full courtHear appeals of civil and criminal casesReviews the case for errors of lawEnsure legal procedures were followedCannot refuse to hear a legally appealed case
15State Supreme Court State's highest court Reviews decisions made by other courts in civil and criminal cases.This court alone rules on questions involvingConstitutionality of state statutesAll criminal cases involving a sentence of death,Petitions from decisions of the Court of Appeals.
16State Supreme Court No trials are held at the appellate level Oral arguments are heard by the entire court.Each case accepted for review by the Supreme CourtAssigned to one of the seven justicesPreparation of a preliminary opinion (decision) for circulation to all other justices.
17State Supreme Court The justices review Trial transcriptsCase recordsAccompanying legal briefs prepared by attorneys.An opinion is adopted or rejected by the Court after thorough discussion by all the justices in conference.Has the final word on matters involving state lawHear appeals fromTrial courtsIntermediate court of appeal