About Georgia Courts:
The Supreme Court, is Georgia's highest court, reviews decisions made by other courts in civil and criminal cases.
This court alone rules on questions involving the constitutionality of state statutes, all criminal cases involving a
sentence of death, and petitions from decisions of the Court of Appeals. No trials are held at the appellate level;
oral arguments are heard by the entire court.
The Court of Appeals is the court of first review for many civil and criminal cases decided in the trial courts.
The purpose of such a review is to correct legal errors or errors of law made at the trial level, not to alter jury verdicts or
the outcome of bench trials.
The superior court is Georgia’s general jurisdiction trial court. It has exclusive, constitutional authority over
felony cases, divorce, equity and cases regarding title to land. The exclusive jurisdiction of this court also covers such
matters as declaratory judgments, habeas corpus, mandamus, quo warranto and prohibition. The superior court corrects errors
made by lower courts by issuing writs of certiorari; for some lower courts, the right to direct review by the superior court
The state court was established by a 1970 legislative act that designated certain existing countywide courts of
limited jurisdiction as state courts. State courts may exercise jurisdiction over all misdemeanor violations, including
traffic cases, and all civil actions, regardless of the amount claimed, unless the superior court has exclusive jurisdiction.
Special and municipal courts. Approximately 400 local courts are also part of the Georgia court system. These special
courts and courts serving incorporated municipalities operate under various names with varying jurisdictions. Courts of
incorporated municipalities try municipal ordinance violations, issue criminal warrants, conduct preliminary hearings, and
may have concurrent jurisdiction over shoplifting cases and cases involving possession of one ounce or less of marijuana.