JUDICIAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION
July 20, 2020
Chief Justice Harold D. Melton and Governor Brian Kemp have extended the respective emergency
periods continuously over the past few months. You can read the judicial emergency orders, and obtain other information, on this Georgia Supreme Court web page.
On Friday, April 3, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp confirmed that his executive orders are not applicable to the judiciary. The Governor also affirmed that the judiciary is governed by the Judicial Emergency Orders entered by the Supreme Court of Georgia. The functions of the Probate Court of Forsyth County will be accomplished in the following manner unless exigent circumstances in a particular case require otherwise:
1. All filings pursuant to Title 53 (Estates) shall be accomplished by United States Mail, statutory delivery, or courier to the greatest extent possible.
2. All filings pursuant to Title 29 (Guardianships, Conservatorships, and actions to compromise a claim) shall be accomplished in the same manner as above, except that (a) emergency guardianship or conservatorship petitions or (b) medical consent guardianship petitions may be filed by appointment scheduled by telephone in advance.
3. All filings pursuant to Titles 31 and 37 (applications for an Order to Apprehend) shall be by appointment made by telephone. The appointment for this purpose will likely be within an hour of the initial telephone call.
4. Marriage license applications are to be made according to the instructions posted at the building entrance, which may vary from time to time. One may call for the current procedures.
5. Requests for copies of documents, whether or not certified, shall be in writing only, including, but not limited to, letters issued to personal representatives, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage documents, etc. Forms for many such requests are outside the entrance to the building. All fees shall accompany the written request.
6. All filings or requests not described above shall be accomplished by mail, or by hand delivery to the building entrance security station in a sealed envelope.
7. Hearing and trial schedules are being adjusted on a case-by-case basis. The traditional procedure of scheduling most hearings and all bench trials as specially set proceedings has been expanded to all hearings. No "mass" calendars are scheduled. The traditional increments are specially set hearings 15 minutes apart unless the particular case demands more time; furthermore, the calendars are on time.
8. Fiduciary oaths are by appointment only made in advance by telephone.
All filings and requests must be accompanied by exact fee amounts. All requested copies of Title 53 and Title 29 documents shall be transmitted to the requesting party by mail unless other arrangements are approved in advance, and the written requests therefor shall include a self-addressed, stamped, envelope. This includes “file stamped” copies of filings.
The issuance of passports is suspended; however, the US State Department is now phasing in normal processing. When the State Department is fully operational, it is anticipated that passport applications will be accepted by appointment in the usual manner. Weapons carry license procedures are on the specific page of this web site.
Chief Justice Harold D. Melton continues to extend the judicial emergency
You can read the orders, and obtain other information, on this Georgia Supreme Court web page.
Call for current status, (770) 781-2140. Building load is being regulated and masks are required in the Clerk's Office because of close quarters and two-way foot traffic in public areas. You may call the above number for a marriage application packet to be emailed to you; however, you must bring that completed application worksheet with you and appear in person to apply for a marriage license.
Requirements: Both parties must appear with valid ID (driver's license or birth certificate). If divorced, it is not necessary for you to bring in a copy of your final decree of divorce; however, you should have a certified copy of the final decree in your records. Occasionally, a person believing himself or herself to be divorced will discover that such is not the case because someone forgot to obtain, or file, the final decree.
The license fee is $56.00 payable by cash or check. The fee is reduced to $16 upon presentation of the Court form certifying pre-marital counseling. The form and requirements may be obtained from the Probate Court office in person.
Applicants must be at least 18 to apply without parental consent. For age 17, special rules apply. Please call the Probate Court office at 770-781-2140 for more information.