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Georgia Legal Resources

Overview of the Georgia Court System

With eight different courts in the state, the Georgia judicial system can be confusing for anyone without experience. It helps to think of the courts as comprising four distinct levels:

  • Trial Courts
  • Superior Courts
  • Court of Appeals
  • Supreme Court

The trial courts are broken down into:

  • Municipal courts, which handle traffic violations
  • Magistrate courts, which handle minor civil and criminal cases that don't need jury trials
  • State courts, which handle minor civil and criminal cases that do need jury trials
  • Probate courts, which handle wills, estates, and other probate cases
  • Juvenile courts, which handle issues involving juvenile infractions.

Decisions made in any of the five trial courts may be appealed to the Superior Courts, which handle more serious civil and criminal cases, as well as some family law matters like divorces.

The Court of Appeals can review decisions by the Superior Courts, and choose to either uphold the decision or strike it down. Decisions made by the Court of Appeals may in turn be appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court. The Supreme Court also handles administrative affairs for the other courts.

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