Contact: Susan Conner - Clerk of Court, Magistrate Court of Douglas County
8700 Hospital Drive
Douglasville, Georgia 30134
Pursuant to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia Harold D. Melton's March 14, 2020 Order Declaring a Statewide Judicial Emergency, all hearings, with the exception of criminal first appearance and bond hearings, juvenile court delinquency detention hearings, and mental health commitment hearings, have been cancelled. All civil court has been cancelled. You may view the order under Downloadable Documents on the right side of this page.
On April 6, 2020, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia Harold D. Melton signed an Order Extending Declaration of Statewide Judicial Emergency. This order extends his March 14, 2020 order. You may view the order under Downloadable Documents on the right side of this page. Furthermore, on May 4, 2020, the Judicial Emergency was extended until June 12, 2020 by the Chief Justice.
THE MAGISTRATE COURT IS OPEN.
In an effort to protect the public and our employees from the Coronavirus, you may simply mail your filings to the Magistrate Court Clerk’s Office.
We strongly encourage the public to avoid entering the Douglas County Courthouse in an effort to abide by the order of social distancing. Our office will continue to operate and accept new filings, but these cases will not be sent to the Sheriff’s Office to be served until the Chief Justice’s Order is either lifted or expires. Please refrain from coming to the Magistrate Courtroom or the Magistrate Court Clerk’s Office if you have a fever or symptoms of a respiratory illness or have been exposed to a person with Coronavirus, flu, or any other communicable disease.
The following cases are non-essential matters and have been placed on hold and will not be served until the Judicial Emergency is over:Small Claims cases;Dispossessory cases;Garnishment cases;Personal Property Foreclosures cases;Abandoned Motor Vehicle cases;Abandoned Mobile Home cases;Ordinance cases;Preliminary hearings; and Pre-Arrest Warrant hearings.
These non-essential filings can be accepted through the mail. Please mail any filings to Magistrate Court, Douglas County Courthouse, 8700 Hospital Drive, Douglasville, GA 30134.
Please note, all Magistrate Court cases previously scheduled from March 16, 2020 through May 13, 2020 will receive a Notice of Hearing through the mail with a new court date.
Please call our office with any questions at (770) 920-7540.
The Douglas County Magistrate (Small Claims) Court handles claims under $15,000 and garnishment actions. A Magistrate Judge holds a hearing to decide each case. You may file a claim in Magistrate Court without an attorney. You may have an attorney represent you, at your own expense, if you choose. The Court does not appoint attorneys for civil cases. Either a person or a business may be sued.
If the defendant is a corporation, you must sue the corporation itself, rather than someone who works for the corporation. The Registered Agent for the corporation may be served for the corporation. To verify if a business is incorporated and to obtain the Registered Agent's name and address, contact the corporation's listing office of the Georgia Secretary of State at 404.656.2817. This information may also be obtained at https://ecorp.sos.ga.gov/ .
The Magistrate Court accepts cash, personal checks, and business checks. It also accepts VISA and MasterCard but there is a 4% convenience fee charged by the credit card processing company for the use of this option.
Criminal bond hearings are held in the Magistrate Court on the judicial side of the Douglas County Courthouse Monday through Friday mornings. Bond hearings are held Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9:00 a.m., and at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. When a person is arrested, he/she appears for a bond hearing unless he/she has already been released from jail on a pre-set bond, which are bonds that are predetermined for a few misdemeanor offenses. At the bond hearing, the Magistrate Judge determines if the defendant should be given a bond and the amount of the bond. The Judge determines if special conditions should be set on the defendant's bond. The defendant, if released on bond, would appear in a few months for an arraignment in another Court and for trial.
If the defendant is in jail and unable to make bond, he is entitled to a criminal preliminary hearing if his case has not yet been presented to the Grand Jury or an accusation has not yet been drawn. Preliminary hearings are held every Thursday in the Magistrate Court, third floor, Douglas County Courthouse, at 1:30 p.m.
The Magistrate Court also holds pre-arrest warrant hearings on some cases in which individuals attempt to obtain warrants against other persons.
Important Things to Remember
- If you are a party in a small claims suit and your address changes, you should notify the Clerk of the Magistrate Court in writing of your new address. The Court notifies you of your Court date by regular mail.
- The Magistrate Court was designed for you to represent yourself. However, you may have an attorney represent you.
- Once a Court date has been set by the Clerk, continuances are granted only by consent of both parties or for legal causes.
- It is very important that the correct party is sued. If there are any doubts as to who you should sue, you should consult an attorney.
- The Clerk cannot give advice on whom to sue. The Clerk can help with filling out the necessary forms.
- The Court cannot force the losing party to pay. Keep in mind, you may not be able to collect on the judgment.
- Finally, it is important to remember that you have been given basic information for suing in the Magistrate Court. Some cases require more detailed instructions and preparation than what you may have read. If you have any questions that do not require legal advice, the Clerk will be pleased to assist you. The Clerk can be reached at 770.920.7540, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
- No faxed copies of pleadings are accepted.
- All pleadings must be originals with original signatures.
- Pleadings must have signatures notarized.
- A self-addressed stamped envelope is required with all filings.
Magistrate Court Staff
Chief Magistrate Judge
Honorable Susan S. Camp
Honorable Barbara H. Caldwell
Part-time Magistrate Judge
Honorable Joel Dodson
Clerk of Magistrate Court
By Appointment Only
For an appointment, call 770.920.7540.