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HB 0635 - Courts; each judge of the superior court, state court, and probate court and each magistrate shall have authority to perform any lawful judicial act; provide

Tracking Level: Hot
Sponsor: Rob Leverett
Last Action: 5/4/2021 - Effective Date 2021-05-04
House Committee: Judiciary
Senate Committee: Judiciary
Assigned To:
01. Judicial CouncilNext Bill
05. Superior CourtsNext Bill
06. State CourtsNext Bill
08. Probate CourtsNext Bill
09. Magistrate CourtsNext Bill
10. Municipal CourtsNext Bill
12. All CourtsNext Bill
Court AdministrationNext Bill
Criminal Next Bill

Staff Analysis of the Legislation

HB 635 amends OCGA Title 15 and Title 36 to allow judges of the superior, state, probate, magistrate, and municipal courts to issue orders via their court docketing system, regardless of where they are physically located. Additionally, HB 635 amends OCGA 15-6-18 to allow superior and state courts to use non-governmental facilities as an alternative location for court, so  long as the governing authority either owns the facility or has a contractual relationship with the facility (this provision was also filed as HB 405).

Finally, HB 635 includes provisions from HB 555, giving judges authority to approve an accused's waiver of the right to a jury trial and proceed to a bench trial, notwithstanding an objection of the prosecutor and excluding cases involving serious violent felonies, and HB 556, which expands statutory authority for prosecutors to use accusations (rather than indictments) as formal charging instruments, except for cases involving serious violent felonies and only 45 days or more after charges are filed. Both of these provisions have a sunset of June 30, 2022. 

Bill Summary from the State Site - Click for the State Summary Page / Click for Current Full Text