Last updated: December 12, 2013
The Georgia court system is broken up between the trial and appellate level. The trial level is split into six different divisions -- big-time cases go to the Superior Court, the medium cases go to State Court, and small-time cases are handled by Municipal or Magistrate Court.
There are also specialized divisions for Probate and Juvenile matters. At the appellate level, the Georgia Supreme Court in Atlanta has the final say on matters of state law, but you will likely pass through the Georgia Court of Appeals, also in Atlanta, first. This sounds confusing but don’t worry, the Augusta court situation is very simple: almost all matters are handled at the state-of-the-art Augusta Judicial Center, which opened its doors in 2011. To help guide you to the proper courthouse, FindLaw has prepared this guide to the key courthouses in Augusta.
The Augusta Judicial Center holds the superior, state, magistrate, probate and juvenile courts for Augusta-Richmond County. Try using their website to pay your traffic tickets online, or check out their list of useful forms if you are representing yourself. If you have any doubts as to which courthouse is right for your legal issue, the Augusta Judicial Center is a safe bet. Here's a breakdown of what each court at this location handles:
The Municipal Court was established by the city to hear city ordinance violations, traffic infractions, and other minor misdemeanors.
The Augusta Courthouse is a branch for the Southern District of Georgia. This facility includes the U.S. District Court, Probation Office, and Bankruptcy Court for this District. Only federal matters are handled here, and only at the trial level. The Southern District of Georgia has six branch locations in Augusta, Brunswick, Dublin, Savannah, Waycross, and Statesboro, and handles federal cases arising from 43 counties throughout southeastern Georgia. If you need to appeal a case tried here, the proper venue is the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which is headquartered in Atlanta and presides over Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.