State Court of Chatham County

Chatham County Holiday Schedule
All County offices will be closed on the following dates: December 24, 25 & 26, 2014 and January 1, 2015.

Welcome Shareholders, Citizens of Chatham County, and Visitors

State Court is located in the Chatham County Courthouse at 133 Montgomery Street, Savannah, Georgia [Map & Directions]. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 9927 Savannah, GA 31412. The Court provides a full range of civil and criminal judicial services with jurisdiction within the geographic boundaries of Chatham County.

With respect to CIVIL matters, the Court enjoys concurrent jurisdiction with the Superior Courts, without regard to a dollar amount, except for those actions where exclusive jurisdiction is vested in the Superior Courts.

For CRIMINAL matters, the Court disposes of misdemeanor offenses, including traffic, "bound over" from any Chatham County municipality.

In addition to cases brought from Bloomingdale, Garden City, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Savannah, Thunderbolt and Tybee Island, Georgia, the Court also handles cases filed by the District Attorney and serves as an appellate court for the Magistrate Court of Chatham County.

Terms of Court
There are four terms of the State Court of Chatham County each year. The terms of court begin on the first Monday in March, the first Monday in June, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in September, and the first Monday in December. HB 899 - Chatham County; state court; change terms

What happens to my case when it is sent to State Court?  

  • Although your case has been sent ("bound over") to the State Court of Chatham County, it could be at least one to six weeks before the State Court receives the documents from the court of inquiry (Recorder's Court or Municipal Court).
  • The State Court Clerks enter the information from the documents received into the State Court Case Management system and assign a case number.
  • The charges are then reviewed by the District Attorney's Office to determine if an accusation will be issued on the charge(s). The District Attorney's Office must issue the accusation within two years of the offense date. A court date is not scheduled until the accusation is issued. Questions regarding the issuance of an accusation should be addressed to the District Attorney's Office.
    (see note below with regards to certain types of traffic violations)
  • Once the District Attorney files the accusation in State Court the case is then scheduled for a court hearing (arraignment) and you are notified by subpoena of your court date. The subpoena will be mailed to the address provided on the documents received from the court of inquiry. If the information is incorrect or your address changes you must appear in person at the State Court Clerk's Office in the Chatham County Courthouse (Room 308) and submit a change of address.

What you need to do:

  • Make certain the State Court Clerk's Office has your current mailing address.
    This information is necessary to notify you of your court date. Failure to appear at this hearing or subsequent hearings may result in a warrant being issued for your arrest, your driving privilege being suspended by your licensing state, and your bond being called and forfeited.
  • If you are not represented by attorney, decide whether or not you wish to obtain the counsel of an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney you may make application for an attorney at the Public Defender's Office, 222 West Oglethorpe Ave. Suite 130, Savannah, Georgia 31401 [Map & Directions].
  • Allow sufficient time for your case to be scheduled. You are able to check the status of your case using our Case Lookup System, or you may come in to use the public computer terminals located in the lobby of our office (3rd floor, room 308).
  • The Criminal Justice System: What you should know about Misdemeanor Cases and Procedures for State Court.

    Note: This office cannot accept phone calls regarding scheduling of your case.

NOTE: Certain types of traffic violations, such as speeding and failure to stop at a stop sign, are scheduled quickly, without an accusation being issued. These charges may be paid in lieu of appearing in court. Allow 4 weeks following the date your traffic charges are sent to State Court before paying.

 
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