What Paperwork Should I Complete to File a Lawsuit?
If you are owed money, property, or other assets, you will naturally want to recover those items. The first step in doing so is to figure out how to navigate the civil court system in Atlanta. Required documents and paperwork will vary based on the specifics of your case.
Fulton County Magistrate Court, which has jurisdiction over civil and small claims in Atlanta, handles cases up to $15,000. You may hire an attorney to represent you in the case at your own expense, but this is not required.
The case must be filed in the Georgia county where the defendant lives, or if the defendant is a business, the county where the business is registered. So, if the person that owes you does not live in Fulton County, you must file your suit elsewhere.
To file any civil lawsuit in Fulton County, Georgia, the plaintiff (the person filing the lawsuit) must electronically file a Statement of Claim. The Statement of Claim must either be notarized and sealed or affirmed in person at the office of the Clerk of Magistrate Court. The Statement of Claim must include:
- Complete contact information for the plaintiff (name, address, phone number, email, etc.)
- Complete contact information for the plaintiff’s attorney, if applicable
- Complete name and street address of defendant
- A description of the damages, money, or property that the plaintiff is seeking from the defendant
- A brief statement of the reasons why the plaintiff believes they are owed, including any relevant dates
- Copies of any relevant documents, such as bank statements, canceled checks, receipts, etc.
The Statement of Claim template form can be found here. Once completed and notarized (or affirmed at the Clerk’s office), the form and its accompanying documents must be electronically filed using the public access terminals located at the office of the Clerk of Magistrate Court in Suite TG-100. Employees at the Clerk’s office can help you determine if there are any other forms you need to submit and help you electronically file your forms, but they can not give you any legal advice.
You must also pay a filing fee of $60 for the first defendant and $8 for each defendant after that. You have the option to pay an additional $50 to have the Fulton County Marshal’s Department serve the defendant at the time of filing your lawsuit, or you may hire your own private process server. We highly recommend going with a reputable private process service agency like Accurate Serve®.
While the Marshal’s Department has a long list of jobs and tasks they are responsible for, here at Accurate Serve® in Atlanta, our main focus is process service. It’s what we do best! With our 24/7 online case status monitor, you’ll never be left wondering if your lawsuit’s paperwork made it into the right hands. Call us at (404) 924-4838 or request service online and find out why we’re one of the best process service agencies in Fulton County!