The Magistrate Court has jurisdiction to hear landlord-tenant disputes which includes dispossessory proceedings. A dispossessory action refers to eviction proceedings brought by a landlord against a tenant. A writ of possession is issued to evict an occupant from the property. The dispossessory complaint is filed under oath by the owner (landlord), testifying to the unlawful possession of the owners property by a tenant. The relationship between the parties must be Landlord and Tenant. The Tenant must be either a Tenant holding over, Tenant at will, a Tenant at sufferance, one not paying rent as it becomes due, or otherwise breaching the conditions of the rental agreement. The Landlord must have made a demand for possession of the premises prior to commencement of the proceedings. Those who consider themselves "agents" of the landlord must comply with Rule 31.
Once a tenant has been served with the Dispossessory Warrant, the tenant has seven (7) days from the date of service to file an answer with our court. If the tenant does not file an answer an eviction may be requested on the eighth (8th) day. If the tenant files an answer, a court date will be set and the plaintiff will be notified by mail of the court date. Once a writ of possession is issued, an eviction must be requested within thirty (30) days of the date of service or a new dispossessory warrant must be filed.
You may use the Magistrate Court Guide and File system to draft your Dispossessory Warrant or Answer. Access the Magistrate Court Guide and file System online or use the forms provided.
Forms are in pdf format. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader or other pdf reader program in order to use these forms.
The Judges and staff of the Magistrate Court cannot provide legal advice. For answers to any questions you may have, please contact Georgia Legal Aid. You may also want to review the Georgia Landlord-Tenant Handbook, provided by the State of Georgia Department of Community Affairs. While this publication may be helpful to both landlords and tenants, it should not be a substitute for professional legal advice. This Handbook contains information on Georgia landlord-tenant law as of June 2012 and, as such, may not reflect the status of Georgia law.
Free or reduced cost legal assistance for low-income persons is available through either the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, the Georgia Legal Services Program, or the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation.
- Can I evict the tenant or the tenant's property from my rental property?
- Can I file a late answer?
- How is the dispossessory warrant served on the tenant?
- I have been served with a dispossessory warrant. What can I do?
- If the tenant fails to file an answer within 7 days from service of a dispossessory warrant, what can I do?
- My landlord failed to make repairs. Now what?
- My landlord owes me money. How can I get it back?
- The last day to file my answer falls on a weekend or a legal holiday and the Magistrate Court is closed. What can I do?
- The tenant has filed an answer with the Magistrate Court. When will the hearing be held?
- What are the requirements for a landlord filing a dispossessory warrant?
- What do I bring to court?
- Where do I file a dispossessory warrant in order to evict my tenants?
- Will an appeal stop an eviction from going forward?
- Will the Judgment appear on my credit report?