Georgia Supreme Court: Balancing the Scales of Justice
About the Supreme Court of Georgia
Georgia’s highest judicial authority is the Georgia Supreme Court. It began as a 3-member panel in 1845 but has since grown to nine justices who the residents of Georgia elect.
At its creation, Georgia had a population of about 800,000 people and eleven superior court circuits distributed throughout the state. The Supreme Court judges had to travel around the state to visit nine different localities to hold court trials during the year.
Judges were also responsible for covering travel expenses out of their own pockets, which often amounted to over 1,000 miles a year. After the Civil War, the Constitution was amended, and a permanent Supreme Court was established.
Today, it’s a highly professional, organized institution that attracts well-respected jurists from across the state. When arguing a case, expectations are high for all parties to be well prepared.
The Georgia Supreme Court is the state’s highest court. It has exclusive jurisdiction over certain cases, such as those involving constitutional issues or appeals of decisions issued by the state legislature.
The court also has appellate jurisdiction over various civil and criminal cases. Additionally, it can hear cases appealed from lower state courts, such as the Court of Appeals of Georgia.
At Swingle Levin Law LLC, our experienced Athens criminal defense attorneys have the knowledge and resources to provide trusted legal counsel for cases brought before the Georgia Supreme Court. We understand how important it is for our clients to make the right decisions and work hard to ensure a fair trial.
Jurisdiction of the Georgia Supreme Court
According to the 1983 Georgia Constitution, the Supreme Court of Georgia has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over election-contested and constitutional cases. In addition, the court has general appellate jurisdiction over the following matters:
Writs of habeas corpus
Death penalty cases
Divorce and alimony cases
Will and equity cases
Cases of significant public importance may also be transferred from the Georgia Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court.
What Does Georgia’s Supreme Court Do?
The Supreme Court of Georgia reviews judgments made by the lower trial courts in criminal and civil cases. The court is solely responsible for handling appeals that involve the constitutionality of state statutes, election contests, and murder cases.
A trial does not take place at the appellate level. Instead, the court hears oral arguments three to four times a month in the presence of all nine justices.
Since the Supreme Court is the highest in Georgia, its decisions are generally final, though federal constitutional law decisions can be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Georgia Supreme Court Processes
The Georgia Supreme Court operates according to a predetermined set of rules. The court holds a monthly session (except in July) to hear oral arguments. The Clerk is responsible for keeping a schedule of cases submitted or argued. The justices receive cases in rotation and then work together to make final decisions.
Whenever a justice has an opinion, it’s discussed with the other judges before being rejected or adopted by a majority vote. Sometimes the Court may designate a substitute judge to serve in the place of a justice who is disqualified or is unable to rule in a particular case.
The Georgia Supreme Court also has specific rules of procedure that must be followed for a case to be heard. This includes filing documents and setting deadlines for appeals, as well as other requirements. Additionally, the court must provide sufficient notice to all parties involved in a case.
If you’ve been charged with a crime, or if the Georgia Supreme Court will hear your case, you must act quickly and consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Our legal team can provide the information, resources, and guidance necessary to protect your rights.
Georgia Supreme Court Justices
Usually, supreme court justices are selected via nonpartisan elections in which voters choose their preferred candidates. Applicants for the Supreme Court of Georgia must fulfill the following requirements:
Be a Georgia resident
Practice law in Georgia for the last seven years or more
Upon election to the Georgia Supreme Court, a judge holds office for six years. If there is a vacancy before this term ends, an interim replacement is appointed by the Governor of Georgia and the Georgia Judicial Nominating Commission. This commission consists of eighteen members who are all appointed by the Governor. The Governor selects the candidate from a list of at least five candidates.
Justices found wanting may face disciplinary action from the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission, resulting in retirement or removal. However, the final decision on retirement or removal rests with the Supreme Court.
The Court also appoints clerks or court executives for a six-year term. In addition to keeping Court minutes and records, the Clerk is the Court’s administrative officer.
Basic Information About the Court
Where Is the Supreme Court Located?
The Supreme Court of Georgia is located at the following address:
Supreme Court of Georgia
Nathan Deal Judicial Center
330 Capitol Avenue, S.E.
1st Floor, Suite 1100
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Phone and Contact Details
You can call or fax the Court using the numbers below:
Phone: (404) 656-3470
Fax: (404) 656-2253
Hours of Operation
The Court is open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM and is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Case files are maintained and filed by the Clerk of the Supreme Court. Email inquiries are not accepted or responded to by the Clerk’s Office. For information about pending cases, you can call the number provided or have an experienced Georgia lawyer call on your behalf.
What Is the Court Docket or Typical Schedule?
A docket is a file of multiple cases set at the same time. Some dockets could contain a variety of cases with different issues. The docket system of the Supreme Court of Georgia has details about cases filed at the Court, both decided and pending.
Adam Levine Law Can represent You in the Supreme Court of Georgia
Are you charged with a serious criminal violation? Swingle Levin Law is a law firm offering criminal defense services throughout Atlanta. We have extensive experience defending clients accused of serious crimes in trial and appellate courts.
So, you can count on Swingle Levin Law to protect your rights and fight for a successful outcome in your case in the Supreme Court of Georgia.