Georgia Small Claims Court
UPDATED: December 16, 2019
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Georgia’s Magistrate Court system was designed to handle small claims (disputes worth less than $15,000) in an inexpensive, streamlined, and expedited manner. Individuals and business entities dealing with issues such as landlord/tenant disputes, personal injury or property damage, breach of contract, or auto repair issues can file their lawsuit in this simplified court.
Georgians may represent themselves for small claims in Magistrate Court, but you may hire an attorney to represent you if you wish. Business entities and individuals may be named as either a plaintiff (person bringing the lawsuit) or defendant (person being sued) in a Magistrate Court case.
Claim Limit: Magistrate Court cases cannot exceed $15,000 in value. Where to File: File your small claim in the Georgia Magistrate Court in the district where the defendant resides.
Types Of Cases Handled: Magistrate Courts handle small claims cases that total less than $15,000 and that involve disputes over money, property, personal injury, or breach of contract.
Who Can File: Individuals 18 and over and business entities, such as corporations and partnerships, can file a small claim in Georgia. If you are under age 18, you must have a legal guardian or parent file the lawsuit on your behalf.
Filing Your Claim: The Magistrate Court requires that you submit a Statement of Claim form that lays out the facts of the case, cites the current names and addresses of all parties, and provides documentation such as receipts or contracts related to the lawsuit. You must submit a small filing fee at the time of filing. The court will then initiate service on the defendant(s) named; if they fail to respond within 30 days, you win the case by default.
Help with Georgia Small Claims: If you need information on how to file your lawsuit, which forms to file, or what kind of legal strategies to choose, you may need to rely on a source outside the court for information (court clerks and law librarians may be prohibited from providing legal advice of any kind). Consult a Georgia small claims lawyer or get in touch with the State Bar of Georgia for referrals and legal advice.
For more state-specific information and links to your state's small claims court resources, see Small Claims Court Information and Links.