State Supreme Court The state of Georgia’s Highest Appellate Court
Court of Appeals: The intermediate court of Appeals
Superior Court: These courts exist in each county in Georgia and have the ability to hear felony criminal cases, divorce and family law cases and have no jursidictional limits. You can sue for as much as you want to in Superior Court
State Court: Most Counties have a State Court, but not all. The State Court is where misdemeanor crimes get tried in front of juries. The State Court cannot hear divorces or family law cases. Oddly, it does have the same unlimited jurisdiction as the Superior Courts meaning in a civil injury case, you can sue for as much as the case supports. Most personal injury lawyers file their cases in the State Court because the docket is not clogged with divorce and felony crimes trials like the Superior Court.
Common misconceptions: You do not need to state in the lawsuit how much you are seeking except in Magistrate Court
Your Right to a jury trial in civil cases in the Federal Courts is guaranteed by the 7th Amendment.
In Georgia, it is guaranteed by the Georgia Constitution:
Paragraph XI. Right to trial by jury; number of jurors; selection and compensation of jurors.
(a) The right to trial by jury shall remain inviolate, except that the court shall render judgment without the verdict of a jury in all civil cases where no issuable defense is filed and where a jury is not demanded in writing by either party.
(b) A trial jury shall consist of 12 persons; but the General Assembly may prescribe any number, not less than six, to constitute a trial jury in courts of limited jurisdiction and in superior courts in misdemeanor cases. (we commonly have judges ask if the plaintiff will stipulate to damages under $25,000 and if so the case can be tried more quickly with 6 jurors.)
How Fast Will My Civil Case Get to Trial in Georgia?
Very, very slowly. So first is the 6 month discovery period, followed by the defendant asking for extensions (which as usually granted by the court). Then the aggressive plaintiff will ask for a pretrial conference where a trial date can be set. Most metro Atlanta courts will do this in about 60 days after a request but in outlying counties, there are crazy delays. Cherokee County only has pre-trials 4 times a year!