The Superior Court is Georgia's only general jurisdiction trial court with exclusive, constitutional authority over felony cases, divorce, equity, and cases regarding title to land. In addition, the Superior Court may try any form of civil or criminal case except probate matters. The Superior Court also corrects errors made by lower courts, but decisions by some lower courts and governmental bodies also can be appealed to Superior Court.
The Superior Court of the Augusta Judicial Circuit is comprised of Burke, Columbia, and Richmond Counties.
The Augusta Judicial Circuit Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), under the direction of the Court Administrator, oversees a number of projects, programs, and services. It is designed to ensure the delivery of justice through effective and efficient management of the complex infrastructure and processes in the courts. The AOC was created in 2009 to provide support to the Superior Court for its planning and business functions. The Administrator reports to the Chief Judge and individual judges and attends management meetings to develop policy and direction of the court. Additionally, the AOC provides services for financial planning and control, human resources management, court community communication, caseflow management, systems and physical facilities development, and other essential components that contribute to the cost effective operation of the court. The Administrator also guides the work flow of administrative staff, case managers, court reporters, and the directors of specialized programs.
Augusta Circuit Drug Court Program
This program is a sentencing alternative for persons charged with felony drug or drug related charges. The program offers participants intensive out-patient treatment in order to help reduce the recidivism rate among the substance abusing population.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Program
This program was created to offer litigants alternative ways to resolve their disputes other than going to trial. Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party facilities settlement discussions between parties in conflict.
Divorcing Parents Seminar
This is an educational session required of all domestic actions involving a child or children under 18 years of age when the parties are involved in a divorce, separate maintenance, paternity, change of custody, visitation, legitimation, and any other domestic action, excluding contempt and, generally, domestic violence. The program must be completed prior to the court ruling on the case.