Walker County Magistrate Court
102 Napier Street, LaFayette, GA.
Phone: 706.638.1217
Email: c.hollingsworth@walkerga.us

Magistrate court jurisdiction includes:

    • The hearing of applications for and the issuance of arrest and search warrants
    • Issuance of warrants and proceedings relating to bonds for good behavior and bonds to keep the peace
    • The holding of courts of inquiry such as preliminary hearings, first appearance hearings and committal hearings
    • The trial of charges of violations of county ordinances and penal ordinances of state authorities
    • The trial of civil claims including garnishment and attachment in which exclusive jurisdiction is not vested in the superior court and the amount demanded or the value of the property claimed does not exceed $15,000.00, provided that no prejudgment attachment may be granted
    • The issuance of summons, trial of issues, and issuance of writs and judgments in dispossessory proceedings and distress warrant proceedings
    • The punishment of contempts by fine not exceeding $200.00 or by imprisonment not exceeding ten days or both
    • The administration of any oath which is not required by law to be administered by some other officer
    • The granting of bail in all cases where the granting of bail is not exclusively committed to some other court or officer
    • The issuing of subpoenas to compel attendance of witnesses in the magistrate court and subpoenas for the production of documentary evidence before the magistrate court
    • Such other matters as are committed to their jurisdiction by other general laws
    • The trial and sentencing of misdemeanor violations of Code Section 16-9-20, relating to criminal issuance of bad checks
    • The execution or subscribing and the acceptance of written waivers of extradition in the same manner provided for in Code Section 17-13-46
    • The trial and sentencing of misdemeanor violations of other Code sections as provided by Article 13 of OCGA 15-10-2
    • The foreclosure of liens on animals as established in Title 4
    • The foreclosure of liens on abandoned mobile homes
    • The foreclosure of liens on abandoned motor vehicles as established in the “Abandoned Motor Vehicle Act”
    • Foreclosure of personal property
    • Exemplifications under the Acts of Congress

A Chief Magistrate, who may be assisted by one or more Magistrates, presides over each of Georgia’s 159 Magistrate Courts. 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. If a defendant submits a written request for a jury trial, cases may be transferred to Superior or State Court. The Chief Magistrate of each county assigns cases, sets court sessions, appoints other Magistrates (with the consent of the Superior Court Judges) and sets policy for the Magistrate Court.

The number of Magistrates, in addition to the chief, is usually set by majority vote of the county’s Superior Court Judges. Most Chief Magistrates are elected in partisan, countywide elections to four-year terms. The Chief Magistrate may be appointed, if so provided by local legislation. Terms for other Magistrate judges run concurrently with that of the Chief Magistrate who appointed them.

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