James Drane III
Chief Magistrate Judge
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The Magistrate Court, established by the 1983 Georgia Constitution, is the first tier of Georgia's unified court system. It is a court of limited jurisdiction, and not a court of record. It utilizes simplified forms and relaxed procedures designed to help expedite cases that don't demand the more onerous rules and procedures required in courts of record.
The Magistrate Court operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. It is staffed by two full-time judges and seven part-time judges, all experienced trial attorneys, who handle a high volume of fast-paced judicial activities. On average, the judges of the Magistrate Court handle more than 30,000 separate activities annually requiring judicial decisions.