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tappick

Probate Judge Requirements

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I live in Georgia and was wandering what the requirements for someone to be a probate judge. Also, I wanted to know if the Magistrate Judge sees you one day and the Probate Judge sees you the next, in a civil suit, can the same person be the Magistrate and Probate Judge like in my case.

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Georgia - Husband was ordered several things including paying child support and has done none of them. Contempt charges have been filed. Shouldn't he be in jail until he follows the court order?

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tappick said...

I live in Georgia and was wandering what the requirements for someone to be a probate judge.

From the Georgia Courts website:

"Most Probate Court judges are elected to

four-year terms in countywide, partisan elections. A candidate for judge

of the probate court must be at least 25 years of age, a high school

graduate, a U.S. citizen and a county resident for at least two years

preceding the election. In counties with population over 96,000, a

candidate for probate judge must have practiced law for seven years and

be at least 30 years of age."

Thus, in smaller counties, the probate judges don't even have to be lawyers.

tappick said...

Also, I wanted to know if the Magistrate Judge sees you one day and the Probate Judge sees you the next, in a civil suit, can the same person be the Magistrate and Probate Judge like in my case.

Also from the Georgia Courts website:

"To qualify as a magistrate, an individual

must reside in the county for at least one year preceding his or her

term of office, be 25 years of age, and have a high school diploma or

its equivalent. A magistrate court judge may also serve as a judge of

another limited jurisdiction court in the same county." (underlining added).

A magistrate court and a probate court are both courts of limited jurisdiction. Thus, a magistrate judge in a county may also serve as the probate judge for the same county.

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tappick said...

Georgia - Husband was ordered several things including paying child support and has done none of them. Contempt charges have been filed. Shouldn't he be in jail until he follows the court order?

That depends on the details of the case. In general, the process is that you make the complaint or motion for contempt, and the court will then order a hearing to determine if the defendant should be found in contempt of court. The hearing is important, because the court will have to establish that the court order has been willfully violated by the defendant. For example, in a support matter, it makes a difference whether the defendant had the money for the support and simply refused to pay it or whether he simply lacked the funds to pay. The former may result in being jailed for contempt until he pays up, the latter won't result in jail time. Once this is done, if the court finds the defendant in contempt, it will impose whatever sanctions it believes appropriate, which may include jail or may include other sanctions instead.

So has the court held a hearing on the matter? Has it made a finding that he's in contempt? if yes, has the court imposed any sanctions for the contempt? Until the court orders him jailed for contempt, he can't be sent to jail for this.

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