Navigation Bar bottom corner image

Superior Court

The Superior Court is Georgia's general jurisdiction trial court. It has exclusive, constitutional authority over felony cases, divorce, equity and cases regarding title to land. The exclusive jurisdiction of this court also covers such matters as declaratory judgments, habeas corpus, mandamus, quo warranto and prohibition. The Superior Court corrects errors made by lower courts by issuing writs of certiorari; for some lower courts, the right to direct review by the superior court applies.

Superior courts are organized into 10 Judicial Districts, comprised of 49 judicial circuits. Each county has its own Superior Court, though a judge may serve more than one county. A chief judge handles the administrative tasks for each circuit. Habersham is in the Mountain Judicial Circuit along with Rabun and Stephens Counties. The Mountain Circuit has two judges, Judge Russell W. Smith in Toccoa and Chief Judge Chan Caudell in Clarkesville.

Superior Court judges are elected to four-year terms in nonpartisan, circuit-wide races. To qualify as a Superior Court judge, a candidate must be at least 30 years old, a citizen of Georgia for at least three years, and have practiced law for at least seven years. Superior Court judges who have retired and taken senior status may hear cases in any circuit at the request of a local judge, an administrative judge, or the governor.


Before attending any Court proceedings please familiarize yourself with the Basic Rules of Court Conduct

Contact Information

Habersham County
Mailing Address: P O Box 485 Clarkesville, GA 30523
Location: 295 Llewellyn Street, Suite 250, Clarkesville, GA 30523
Phone: 706-839-0335 Fax: 706-754-4722
Chan Caudell, Chief Judge
Secretary: Linda Hall
Court Reporter: Lisa Short
Phone: 706-969-8906

Stephens County
Mailing Address: P O Box 758 Toccoa, GA 30577
Location: Toccoa, Georgia 30577
Phone: 706-886-7525 Fax: 706-886-1259
Russell W. Smith, Judge
Secretary: Johnnie Eller
Court Reporter: Anita Moore
Phone: 706-779-2295


Click here for Contact Information
Website designed, built, hosted, and maintained by Southfire

Footer background image