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Top F.A.Q.s

  Can I pay my ticket without coming to court?

Can I pay my ticket without coming to court? (REC 25-625)

If your citation does NOT require a mandatory court appearance you may pay your ticket by:

  • Mail - Money orders or cashier's check only.
  • In Person - Fines may be paid in person by money order, cashier's check, cash, debit or credit card during the hours of 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Drop Box - A drop box is located outside of the Court Annex building and available after normal working hours.
  • Online - Online payments are accepted at https://www.payyourtix.com/Gwinnett

For information concerning credit card payments, please refer to Credit Card Procedures in the menu to the left. Please note that Recorder's Court Clerk's Office does not accept personal or company checks.

  Fee Schedule

Fee Schedule (REC 25-100)

There are no court fees assessed in Recorder's Court. However, every fine assessed is subject to the appropriate surcharges in accordance with O.C.G.A. 15-21-70 through 15-21-77.

  What are the requirements for a landlord filing a dispossessory action?

What are the requirements for a landlord filing a dispossessory action? (MAG 30)

The relationship between the parties must be landlord and tenant.The tenant must be either a tenant holding over, a tenant at will, a tenant at sufferance, or not paying rent as it becomes due.The landlord must have made a demand for possession of the premises prior to commencement of the proceedings.

  Where do I file a dispossessory action to evict my tenants?

Where do I file a dispossessory action to evict my tenants? (MAG 30)

A dispossessory action should be filed in the county where the property is located.

  The tenant failed to file an answer within 7 days from service of the summon,
so what can I do?

The tenant failed to file an answer within 7 days from service of the summon, so what can I do?    (MAG 30)

When the tenant fails to file an answer within 7 days of service of the summons, the landlord may contact the magistrate court's office about presenting the writ of possession to a judge for signature.

  Can I mail the dispossessory complaint to the court?

Can I mail the dispossessory complaint to the court? (MAG 30)

Yes. However, the complaint should be sworn to and signed before a Notary Public.

  What items may be included in a dispossessory complaint?

What items may be included in a dispossessory complaint? (MAG 30)

The complaint may include a demand for possession of the premises, past due rents, utilities, late fees, attorneys' fees, and other damages related to the landlord-tenant relationship.

  How much evidence will I need in order to win my (landlord and property) case?

How much evidence will I need in order to win my (landlord and property) case? (MAG 30-501)

There is no specific amount of evidence required from either party. The Landlord has the burden of proving his or her case. The Tenant has the burden of proof on any counterclaim. The party with the burden of proof must establish his or her case by what is known as a preponderance of the evidence. That basically means that the evidence produced by that party must be more persuasive than the evidence produced by the other party. If, after hearing all of the evidence, the Court is not persuaded that one party or the other should prevail, the case will be decided against the party which had the burden of proof.

  Custody matters

Custody matters (JUV 25-637)

Matters Involving permanent custody of children are under the jurisdiction of Superior Court. In some cases a Superior Court judge will refer the case to Juvenile Court for determination of what is in the best interest of the child. All custody matters must first be filed in Superior Court.

  What is a Garnishment?

What is a Garnishment?    (MAG 35-FAQ)

A garnishment is a proceeding against a third party ("the garnishee"). The garnishee has money or other property belonging to the judgment debtor-defendant. Garnishment is the term of the legal process by which the garnishee pays into court the money, or property, that the garnishee owes to the judgment debtor.

  I have been served with a summons for a dispossessory action, what can I do?

I have been served with a summons for a dispossessory action, what can I do? (MAG 30)

Upon service of a summons of a dispossessory action, the tenant has seven days to file an answer in the magistrate court clerk's office. Failure to file the answer within seven days of service of the summons, may result in a writ of possession being issued against the tenant.

  How is the summons and dispossessory action served on the tenant?

How is the summons and dispossessory action served on the tenant? (MAG 30)

Personal service on the tenant of the dispossessory proceeding and summons must be attempted. In the event the sheriff cannot serve the tenant personally, the sheriff may serve the dispossessory proceeding, sui juris, i.e. to any person residing at the premises of suitable age and discretion. If the sheriff is unable to obtain personal or sui juris service of the dispossessory proceeding on the tenant, the summons and dispossessory proceeding may be had by tack and mail, i.e. posted on the door of the premises, and on the same day of posting, the sheriff's office must mail a copy of the dispossessory proceeding to the tenant at the tenant's last known address.

  I (tenant) missed the time to file an answer, can I file a late answer?

I (tenant) missed the time to file an answer, can I file a late answer? (MAG 30)

While you may file a late answer, it will not prevent a landlord from contacting the magistrate court's office about presenting the dispossessory proceeding to a judge to issue a writ of possession.

  How does the tenant know that he or she is being sued?

How does the tenant know that he or she is being sued? (MAG 30)

You must have the Tenant(s) served with a copy of the Dispossessory Action. This is ordinarily done by the Sheriff and the fee for service can be found on the Magistrate Fee Page. You may include this payment with the payment of the filing fee to the Clerk of Court who will forward the service fee to the Sheriff.

  What happens when the garnishee fails to file a timely answer?

What happens when the garnishee fails to file a timely answer? (MAG 35-FAQ)

The garnishee becomes automatically in default after failing to file an answer within 45 days. The default may be opened by the garnishee if they pay court costs within 15 days of going into default.

The plaintiff may have a default judgment entered against the garnishee for the entire amount claimed due on the judgment on which this garnishment was based. The plaintiff MUST give legal notice of the default judgment to the garnishee. Usually, certified mail, sheriff's service, or hand delivery will be adequate. The burden of proving notice to the garnishee is upon the plaintiff.

O.C.G.A. 18-4-91. Relief of garnishee from default judgment and Plaintiff's duty to notify Garnishee: When a judgment is rendered against a garnishee under Code Section 18-4-90, on a motion filed not later than 60 days from the date the garnishee receives actual notice of the entry of the judgment against him, he may, upon payment of all accrued costs of court, have the judgment modified so that the amount of the judgment shall be reduced to an amount equal to the greater of $50.00 or $50.00 plus 100% (percent) of the amount by which the garnishee was indebted to the defendant from the time of service of the summons of garnishment through and including the last day on which a timely answer could have been made for all money, other property, or effects belonging to the defendant which came into the garnishee's hands from the time of service of the summons through and including the last day on which a timely answer could have been made and, in the case of garnishment of wages, less any exemption allowed the defendant by law. Notice to the garnishee by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery shall be sufficient notice as required in this Code section. On the trial of the motion, the burden of proof shall be upon any plaintiff who objects to the timeliness of the motion to establish that the motion was not filed within the time provided for by this Code section.

  How are (landlord and property) cases presented in court?

How are (landlord and property) cases presented in court? (MAG 30-500)

Because the Landlord has filed the case and carries the burden of proof, he or she gets to present evidence first. The Landlord will call all of his or her witnesses first. After a witness testifies, the other party has an opportunity to cross examine that witness. When all of the Plaintiff's witnesses have testified and been cross examined, the Tenant calls his or her witnesses, who may also be cross examined by the Landlord.

  What is the deposit account fraud (bad check) statute?

What is the deposit account fraud (bad check) statute? (MAG 50)

O.C.G.A. 16-9-20 - Deposit Account Fraud.

  • (a) A person commits the offense of deposit account fraud when such person makes, draws, utters, executes, or delivers an instrument for the payment of money on any bank or other depository in exchange for a present consideration or wages, knowing that it will not be honored by the drawee. For the purposes of this Code section, it is prima-facie evidence that the accused knew that the instrument would not be honored if:
    1. The accused had no account with the drawee at the time the instrument was made, drawn, uttered, or delivered;
    2. Payment was refused by the drawee for lack of funds upon presentation within 30 days after delivery and the accused or someone for him or her shall not have tendered the holder thereof the amount due thereon, together with a service charge, within ten days after receiving written notice that payment was refused upon such instrument.

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  Does it matter what type of service of the summons and dispossessory action is had on the tenant?

Does it matter what type of service of the summons and dispossessory action is had on the tenant? (MAG 30)

Yes, and No. If the only relief sought by the landlord is possession of the premises, then personal, sui juris, and tack and mail service is sufficient. If the landlord is seeking possession of the premises and a money judgment against the tenant, then you must have personal or sui juris service on the tenant. If the landlord seeks to have a money judgment and possession of the premises, the landlord should note on the return of service "personal or sui juris service," to notify the sheriff's department as to the type of service sought.

  Do I need to have a marriage license to get married in the state of Georgia?

Do I need to have a marriage license to get married in the state of Georgia? (MAG 25)

Yes, a marriage license is required. It is unlawful for anyone to perform a marriage ceremony in the state of Georgia unless the parties have obtained a marriage license.

  Do we still need to get a blood test?

Do we still need to get a blood test? (MAG 25)

No, effective July 1, 2003, the code section which previously required that applicants for a marriage license have a blood test, O.C.G.A. 19-3-40, was repealed. Blood tests are no longer required to get a marriage license in the state of GA.

  What properties are subject to a garnishment?

What properties are subject to a garnishment? (MAG 35-FAQ)

See O.C.G.A 18-4-20. Property subject to garnishment generally; claim amount and defendant's social security number on summons; information to be contained on summons of garnishment upon financial institution.

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  Can I include a claim for damages done to the premises during the term of the lease?

Can I include a claim for damages done to the premises during the term of the lease? (MAG 30)

You may file a claim for damages done to the premises during the term of the lease. However, if the tenant is still in possession of the premises at the time of the dispossessory hearing, you may not recover a judgment for damages done to the premises at the dispossessory hearing, because the extent of the damages and cost of repairs can not always be accurately ascertained until the tenant has vacated the premises. As a general rule, another civil action is required to obtain a judgment for any damages done to the premises.

  Do I need an appointment to be married by the on-duty magistrate at either court facility?

Do I need an appointment to be married by the on-duty magistrate at either court facility? (MAG 25)

No, you do not need an appointment to be married by the "on-duty" magistrate who is located at the

Gwinnett Justice & Administration Center
75 Langley Drive
Lawrenceville, GA 30046

(770-822-8200)

during normal business hours and who is located at the Magistrate Court courtrooms, located within the public section of the

Gwinnett County Detention Center
2900 University Parkway
Lawrenceville, GA 30046

during the evening hours and on holidays and weekends.

However, you must bring your wedding license., because we do not have an appointment system for performing marriage ceremonies, the marriage ceremony will be performed as soon as the "on-duty" judge completes the cases and other ceremonies in the order they appeared. In most instances, the wait will be less than 30 minutes, however, on very busy times, parties waiting to get married may need to be able to wait for an hour. Typically, we are the most busy performing wedding ceremonies on Friday afternoons.

  Does the Gwinnett Magistrate Court perform wedding ceremonies?

Does the Gwinnett Magistrate Court perform wedding ceremonies?

Yes, the Magistrate Court judges routinely perform wedding ceremonies, seven days per week.

ALL WEDDING CEREMONIES PERFORMED BY THE "ON DUTY MAGISTRATE," AT OUR COURT LOCATIONS ARE FREE:

Wedding ceremonies are performed at NO COST if the parties can be married by the "on duty" magistrate at the Gwinnett Justice & Administration Center, during normal business hours, Mon- Fri, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM or at the courtrooms at the Gwinnett Detention Center, at all other hours, including all evenings, weekends and holidays.

Also, for parties desiring to hire an official to perform a wedding ceremony apart from the courthouse, Georgia law gives parties the legal authority to contract with an "off duty" judge or other official authorized by law, to perform marriage ceremonies.

  What is a bad check arrest warrant?

What is a bad check arrest warrant? (MAG 50)

An arrest warrant is an order of the court directing any duly authorized law enforcement official to arrest the person named in the warrant for the offense charged (in this case the offense of Deposit Account Fraud). The accused will be arrested and, in most instances, allowed to post bond to secure the accused's appearance at trial.