Qualifications Trial Courts: Superior Courts- candidate must have been at least 30 years old, a citizen of Georgia for 3 years, and have practiced law for at least 7 years State Courts- candidate must be at least 25 years old, have been admitted to practice law for 7 years, and have lived in Georgia for at least 3 years
Qualifications Trial Courts: Probate Courts- qualifications vary, in larger counties (greater than 96,000) a candidate must have practiced law for 7 years and be at least 30 years old In all counties, a candidate must be at least 25 years old, a high school graduate, and a county resident for at least 2 years preceding the election
Qualifications Trial Courts: Juvenile Courts-Candidates must be at least 30 years old, must have practiced law for five years, and must have lived in Georgia for at least three years. Magistrate Courts-Candidates must have resided in the county for at least one year, be 25 years old, and have a high school diploma. Other qualifications may be imposed by local legislation.
QUALIFICATIONS Appellate Courts: Supreme Court-Candidates must have practiced law for seven years before taking office. Court of Appeals-Candidates must have practiced law for seven years before taking office.
TERMS Trial Courts: All the trial courts elect judges to serve four-year terms. Appellate: All the appellate courts elect judges to serve six-year terms.
ELECTION Trial Courts: Superior Courts-Judges are elected to four- year terms in a circuit wide, nonpartisian elections. State Courts-Judges are elected to four-year terms in countywide, nonpartisian elections. Probate Courts-Judges are elected to four- year terms in countywide, nonpartisian elections.
ELECTIONS Trial Courts: Juvenile Courts-Juvenile court judges are appointed by several court judges of the judicial circuit to four-year terms. Magistrate Courts-A chief magistrate is either elected or appointed, as determined by local legislation. Other magistrates may be appointed by the chief magistrate.
ELECTIONS Appellate Courts: Court of Appeals-Judges are elected to six-year terms in statewide, nonpartisian elections. Supreme Courts-Judges are elected to six-year terms in statewide, nonpartisian elections.
DUTIES Trial Courts: Superior Courts-The superior court hears both civil and criminal cases. The superior court is Georgia’s general jurisdiction trial court. It has exclusive jurisdiction over trials in felony cases, divorce, equity, and cases involving land. State Courts- The state courts exercise jurisdiction over misdemeanor violations, including traffic cases, and hear civil actions except in cases in which the superior court has exclusive jurisdiction. They issue search and arrest warrants, and hold preliminary hearings in criminal cases.
DUTIES Trial Courts: Probate Courts-The probate courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Probate courts probate people’s will to the heirs. The courts also issue marriage licenses and licenses to carry firearms. Probate judges also have the authority to appoint legal guardian and order the involuntary hospitalization of an incapacitated adult. Juvenile Courts-Juvenile courts were established to concentrate attention on the treatment of juveniles. Limited jurisdiction juvenile courts handle cases that involve deprived and neglected children under 18, delinquent and unruly offenses committed by children under 17, and traffic violations committed by juveniles. These courts also hear cases involving petitions to marry or enlist in the military.
DUTIES Trial Courts: Magistrate Courts-Magistrate courts are limited jurisdiction county courts that issue warrants, hear minor criminal offenses, and hear civil cases involving amounts of $15,000 or less. Magistrate court is the place for resolving civil disputes, violations of county ordinances, land lord tenant cases, and bad checks. Magistrate courts hold preliminary hearings and issue search warrants as well as arrest warrants.
PROCEDURES Trial Courts: Trial courts hear original cases, both criminal and civil. Each court has a special jurisdiction (range of actions over which the court has control or influence). Examples: divorce cases and murder cases Appellate Courts: Appellate courts hear cases that have been appealed. This means that the cases are asked to be heard again to see if the outcome can be changed and to get a final verdict on the matter. Examples: cases about whether laws passed by the legislature are constitutional and cases involving challenges to elections
HOW JUDGES ARE SELECTED Trial Courts: In all the trial courts EXCEPT for juvenile and magistrate, the judges are elected into office in nonpartisan elections. In juvenile courts, judges are appointed by several court judges of the judicial circuit. In magistrate courts, a chief magistrate is either elected or appointed., as determined by local legislation. Other judges may be appointed by the chief magistrate.
CRIMINAL CASES AND CIVIL CASES Criminal Cases-dispute between two or more persons or groups Civil Cases-cases involving violations of the law (two types of crime: felony(serious) and misdemeanor(less serious))
Works Cited Caldwell, L. A. (2011). Georgia Its Heritage and Its Promise. Lilburn, Georgia: Clairmont Press, Inc.