Court Operating Procedures

Probate Practice

Although probate practice is essentially uniform in Georgia, there is a two-tiered system of probate courts in Georgia with certain different rules applying to Article 6 probate courts. Additionally, each probate court will likely have preferences with regard to their internal operating procedures. There are, in Georgia, uniform rules of court applicable to the various levels of court. To access the Uniform Probate Court Rules, go to the Georgia Probate Court Online System.

The following rules and procedures apply in the Probate Court of Athens-Clarke County.

Jury Trials

Jurors will be impaneled by the clerk of the Superior Court of Athens-Clarke County.

Expanded Jurisdiction

The Probate Court of Athens-Clarke County is now an Article 6 Probate Court. Counsel and parties should be aware of and familiar with the amendments to the Uniform Probate Court Rules found in Appendix A thereto. These amendments apply in Athens-Clarke County Probate Court to cases filed on or after July 1, 2002.

Payment of Costs

For most pleadings and other documents filed, there is a corresponding court cost. Costs are due and payable at the time of filing, and, except when accompanied by a proper pauper's affidavit, no pleading must be accepted by the court without payment of costs set by law. Personal checks are accepted when presented with a picture ID, the Social Security number of the drawer of the check, and a physical address and telephone number for the drawer.

Hearings & Trials

Routine hearings are set by the clerk to whom a case has been assigned. The court holds hearings in all matters filed, except as specifically allowed by law to be decided without hearing or as directed by Judge Tate (for example, if a party or an attorney communicates to court personnel that a settlement has been reached). Trials are set by Judge Tate or at her direction.