Shawn Bible Law Main: (706) 375-2145
Ringgold: (706) 935-8864
Shawn Bible - Lawyer in NW Georgia

Evictions and Dispossessory Actions in Georgia

So, you are a landlord and your renter is not paying?  What do you do to evict them?  Before an eviction, a landlord must make a verbal or written demand for possession of the property.  The landlord should then file a petition in the Magistrate Court where the property is  located.  Every county has a Magistrate Court.

A small fee is required to file and serve the eviction or dispossessory action.  The local Sheriff’s Office will then serve the tenant with the eviction by either personal service or by tack and mail service.  Personal service is when the Sheriff actually places the eviction in the hands of the tenant.  Tack and Mail means the Sheriff merely places the petition on the tenant’s door and in the mail.  Tack and Mail service does not allow you to receive a monetary judgment (unless an answer is filed).

The tenant will then have seven days to file an answer.  Once an answer is filed the court will set a hearing date.  If the Court finds the tenant has not paid rent the tenant will then have seven days to pay and vacate the property.  If the tenant is still on the property after seven days, the landlord can then request a set out order.  If the Court issues a set order, the Sheriff will then coordinate with the landlord to execute the set out order (removing the tenant and belongings).  However, the landlord is responsible for actually removing the property.

Georgia law provides relatively easy and fast means to remove a non-paying tenant.  Therefore, there is no reason for a landlord to take the law in to his own hands.  Landlords should always obey the law to the letter and consult with an attorney if they have questions.

Legal disclaimer: The information contained on this page and this entire website is for informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice.  You should always consult an attorney before taking legal action.  Reading this website or any website is not a substitute for a trained attorney.  This website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Shawn Bible Law Firm.  Mr. Bible serves all Northwest Georgia, including the cities of Ringgold, Fort Oglethorpe, Dalton, Lafayette, Trenton, Summerville and Rossville, in the counties of Catoosa, Walker, Chattooga, Dade, and Whitfield.

What is a pre-warrant hearing?


Imagine one day you go to the mailbox and there is a notice that a person you know has requested you be arrested.  You thought only a police officer could arrest someone so what is this about? What is a pre-warrant hearing?

In Georgia, a civilian (non police officer) can request that a Magistrate Judge  issue an arrest warrant.  Such warrants are sometimes called “civilian warrants”.  Typically, the process starts by the petitioner going to the Magistrate Court located in the county where the offense was alleged to have occurred and filling out a simple application.  In the warrant application the petitioner will be asked to give a brief narrative of who they want arrested and why.  The petitioner must also pay a small application fee.

A Magistrate Judge will then review the application and schedule a pre-warrant hearing.  The other party (the accused) should then receive notice of the pre-warrant hearing by mail.  At the pre-warrant hearing, the Judge will listen to both sides and either issue a warrant or dismiss the application.  If the Judge issues a warrant, the accused will be arrested after the hearing or be allowed to turn themselves into the jail at a predestinated time.

I receive many calls about pre-warrant hearings.  Most people who get a notice for a prewarrant hearing have never heard of them.  The first questions people ask is whether they should bring an attorney to a pre-warrant hearing.  The answer to that question is that since you can be arrested after the hearing it is advisable to hire an attorney!  Furthermore, if you do not hire an attorney you will have to speak at the hearing and thereby risk incriminating yourself.

Our office is willing and ready to represent you in a pre-warrant hearing.  If you receive a notice in the mail, please do not hesitate to call us to set up a free consultation.