State Court of Clayton County

The State Court of Clayton County is composed of five (5) Judges. All are elected by the citizens of Clayton County and serve four (4) year terms.

State Court is a trial court with limited jurisdiction covering misdemeanor and traffic violations, prosecuted by the office of the Solicitor General, and all civil actions, regardless of the amount, unless the Superior Court has exclusive jurisdiction.

Assignment of Judges

Each case, civil or criminal, is assigned randomly by a computer program when the case is filed in the Clerk’s Office. However, if a case is a renewal of a previous case, the new case will be assigned to the same Judge as the original action.

Also, two cases arising out of the same transaction or occurrence will be assigned to the same Judge. Please notify the Clerk if the case is a renewal of a previous action, or if you are filing two cases arising out of the same event.

Criminal cases involving a defendant who has previously appeared before a Judge are assigned to be heard by the same Judge, as much as is practical (traffic citations are not considered in this rule, and there may be instances where other criminal matters go to a different Judge because of co-defendants).

Attorneys for Civil Matters

The State Court of Clayton County cannot appoint attorneys to represent persons for civil matters.

Court-Appointed Attorneys for Criminal Matters

Defendants may request a court-appointed attorney at their first court appearance, usually an Arraignment. The State Court of Clayton County must interview the Defendant to determine if the person is qualified under the Georgia Indigent Defense Guidelines to receive a court-appointed attorney.

Factors for the Court to consider include the employment of the person, any extraordinary expenses the person has, their assets, the likelihood that the person will receive a jail sentence, and other matters.

Scheduling of Civil Matters

Contact the Administrative Assistant for the Judge to whom the case is assigned.

Scheduling of Criminal Matters

Each Judge has authority over his or her own criminal calendars, however the Calendar Clerk in the State Court of Clayton County Clerk’s Office assigned to that Judge creates the criminal calendars. Motions in criminal cases will not be accepted by the Clerk for filing without a Rule Nisi attached.

The Rule Nisi must be presented to the Calendar Clerk for a date and signature prior to the motion being filed. Probation revocation hearings are scheduled by the probation officer supervising that defendant’s case.


  • Chief Judge Michael T. Garrett
  • Judge Tammi Hayward
  • Judge Margeret Spencer
  • Judge Shalonda Jones-Parker

Location & Contact Information

Harold R. Banke Justice Center
9151 Tara Boulevard (3rd floor)
Jonesboro, GA 30236

Phone: 770-477-3388


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