Responsibilities and Terms of the Magistrate
FIRST APPEARANCE HEARINGS
After a warrant
less arrest, the arresting officer has the responsibility to bring the
arrestee before a Magistrate within 48 hours of the arrest, 72 hours for a
person arrested with a warrant. At this time, the person is advised
of their rights, their bond, and what they are charged with. If the
person cannot afford to hire a lawyer, a form is given to the person for a
court appointed lawyer. The person is also advised that while in
custody, they have a right to a preliminary hearing.
While a person is in
custody or under bond conditions, they have a right to a preliminary
hearing. A preliminary hearing is where witnesses for the state is
subpoenaed to testify. If there is enough probable cause, the case
will be bound over to the Grand Jury for indictment or to the Superior
Court for trial. If there is not enough probable cause, the case
will be dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge.
A person can file a civil
claim in the Magistrate's Office if the amount of the claim does not
exceed $15,000. This can be done with or without an attorney.
You have to file the claim in the county that the person lives in.
Filing fees differ in every county.Once the person is served,
they have (30) days to answer to the claim. If they do not answer
after (45) days, a Default Judgment could be entered. If the court
finds in your favor, the filing fee is awarded back to you.
DEPOSIT ACCOUNT FRAUD "BAD
Procedures for obtaining a warrant from the
Magistrate's Office for Deposit Account Fraud.
1. The check has
to be for present consideration "Goods or Services."
2. The check
had to have been deposited within 30 days of receipt.
3. A (10)
day letter had to have been sent within 90 days of receipt of
This has to be done by certified
4. A warrant cannot be issued for stop payment on a
After a person gets the green card back from the post
office, allow 10 full days from when the person signed for the 10-day
letter. If the person has not paid after the tenth day, bring the
green card along with the check to the Catoosa County Magistrate's Office
and a warrant will be issued.
A Pre-Warrant Hearing
is where the presiding judge wants to hear from other witnesses or from
the person that the warrant has been applied for. The person that
the warrant has applied for has the same constitutional rights afforded to
them by the Miranda Decision. That is, they have the right to remain
silent, they have the right to have an attorney present to represent them,
and anything they say could be used against them later in a court of
ZONING, STORM WATER, AND HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Citations for these violations are issued by the
Catoosa County Zoning Administration and Catoosa County Storm Water
Management and the Catoosa County Health Department, as applicable.
When the court receives these citations, they are scheduled for the
court's next arraignment calendar. At arraignment, an alleged
violator may enter a plea. All Guilty Pleas are dealt with
immediately and Not Guilty Pleas are set for trial.
RABIES CONTROL COURT
The Rabies Control
Officer issues all citations concerning lease law to the animal
owner. Once a citation is issued, the person is scheduled to come to
court. Most Rabies Control Citations can be taken care of before
court, but more serious offenses must come to court.
This ordinance requires any
person living within Catoosa County to have their vehicles registered
within 30 days of residency. These citations are issued by the Catoosa
County Sheriff's Department. Court is held monthly. At
arraignment, if a guilty plea is entered, the case may be disposed of
immediately. Not guilty pleas are set for trial.
MOBILE HOME STICKER VIOLATIONS
Commissioner issues these citations. A citation is issued when a
person does not have a current mobile home sticker. An arraignment
date is scheduled for the person to come to court.
All Criminal Warrants are
issued thru the Magistrate's Office. After a warrant is issued, it
is sent to the Sheriff's Department for service. Once a person is
arrested and makes bond, they are set a court date for arraignment to come
back to the Superior Court. The District Attorney is responsible for
prosecution of all criminal matters.
Warrants are commonly known as an Eviction Notice. If someone is
past due on paying their rent, the Landlord must make a demand for the
premises. After demand is made, the Landlord can take out an
eviction notice. When the persons is served, they have seven days to
answer to the summons or seven days to move. If an answer is given,
a hearing will be set before a Magistrate Judge. If there is no
answer after the seven days, a set out order can be signed.
SETTING OF BONDS
The Magistrate sets the
majority of the bonds. The bonds that a Magistrate cannot set are:
4. Aggravated Sodomy
5. Armed Robbery
Aircraft and Motor Vehicle Hijacking
7. Aggravated Child
8. Schedule I Narcotic
9. Schedule II
Narcotic Manufacturing, Distributing, Delivering,
Administering, or Selling
Trafficking Cocaine or Marijuana
Aggravated Assault 2nd Offense
14. Burglary 2nd Offense
Before a person can
make bond on a charge involving family violence, the Magistrate must do
bond conditions. The Magistrate advising the person they must not
make unwanted contact for the purpose of harassment or intimidation fills
out a form. The person must refrain from any physical altercation
with the person whom the alleged crime was committed against. If the
person violates these conditions, bond may be revoked and they are not
entitled to a second bond after such revocation.
Only a certified Georgia
police officer can obtain a search warrant thru the Magistrate's
Office. Things that are commonly searched are residences, vehicles,
MAGISTRATE ON CALL
After the normal
business hours, weekends, and holidays, a Magistrate is on call. A
Magistrate can be reached on an emergency basis thru the Sheriff's
ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLES
To file an
abandoned motor vehicle complaint is complicated. A sample of forms
needed to complete this process can be obtained at the Magistrate's
GARNISHMENTS AND FI FA's
When 30 days has
occurred after a judgment is given, a garnishment can be filed. The
garnishment can be filed against wages, bank account, or a safe deposit
box. When a FI FA is issued the plaintiff can take it to the sheriff
for service. The sheriff will go to the defendant's residence and
seize property to satisfy the FI FA. The property that is seized
will be sold at a public auction and the monies from the sale will be
given to the plaintiff.
A person wishing to get married
has to obtain a marriage
license from the Probate Court. Once the license is issued, the
couple can come to the Magistrate and the Magistrate will perform the
ceremony during regular business hours. However, if
the couple wants a ceremony after the regular business hours of the court,
arrangements can be made by the judge performing the ceremony.
WRIT OF POSSESSION
To file a Writ of
Possession, a written contract must have been made between the plaintiff
and defendant. Once the defendant is served, they have seven days to
answer to the writ. If answer is given, a hearing will be set.
If no answer, then an automatic Writ of Possession is signed 14 days after
the defendant is