Dispossessory (Eviction)

Definition


Dispossessory is a legal measure that landlords use to remove a tenant for non-payment of rent or for lease violations.

Jurisdiction


The Magistrate Court accepts the filing of dispossessory proceedings seeking to evict persons or businesses from the property.

Venue


The address of the property must be located within Effingham County.

Filing Fee


The filing fee is $95 for one defendant and $50 for each additional defendant per case. If you have a private processor serving the papers, the filing fee is then $45. Checks should be made payable to Magistrate Court.

Procedures for Filing a Dispossessory


The Clerk of Magistrate Court provides forms required for filing and serving a Dispossessory. An applicant may appear in person in the office of the Clerk of Magistrate Court and the clerk will assist in the filing of the paperwork. An out of county resident who would prefer, may download the form and mail along with the filing fee; or file online at, nCourt.com (an additional $20 filing fee applies). All mailed forms must be completely filled out, properly signed, and notarized.

Answer


A person who has been served with a dispossessory affidavit has 7 days to file an answer. If an answer is not filed within 7 days the defendant will be in default. An answer may be made in person, email your answer to the Magistrate Court or fax it to 912-754-4893. All answers must be received in our office by 5 on the seventh day after service. Download the Answer / Counterclaim Form (PDF).

Default


If an answer is not filed within 7 days, the defendant is in default and the plaintiff may file a request for a default and writ of possession. Please completely fill out all applicable sections of the form.

Hearing


If a defendant files an answer, a hearing will be scheduled within 14 days of the date of the answer. Both parties will have the right to present evidence and call witnesses. The parties should bring any relevant evidence with them to court; including copies of the contract, receipts, ledgers, photographs or other relevant items.

Witnesses


If a party has witnesses, the party should bring them to the hearing. If assistance is needed to obtain the attendance of witnesses, a Request for Subpoena Form (PDF) should be completed and returned to the Clerk of Magistrate Court along with the required fee. For the courts to serve the subpoena the fee is $25; if you serve the subpoena the fee is $1.


Additional Information


View information for tenants provided by Georgia Legal Aid.