Clerk of Superior Court
The Clerk of Superior Court is a constitutional officer elected by the voters of Habersham County to serve a four-year term. The Clerk of Superior Court also serves as Clerk of State Court and Clerk of Magistrate Court.
The Superior Court, Georgia's general jurisdiction trial court, has exclusive constitutional authority over felony cases, cases regarding title to land and equity, declaratory judgments, habeas corpus, mandamus, adoptions, name changes, divorces, child custody, and child support enforcement. The clerk is responsible for recording deeds and maintaining the chain of title to all property in the county. In addition, the clerk appoints notary publics and records business and trade names and military discharges.
The State Court is a trial court with limited jurisdiction covering misdemeanor and traffic violations and civil actions involving $15,000 or more unless the Superior Court has exclusive jurisdiction.
The Magistrate Court handles all civil trials involving amounts less than $15,000.
The Clerk of Court is charged with the responsibility of attending all court sessions for Superior and State Courts and to file and maintain accurate records of the proceedings. The Clerk also manages all revenue collections and disbursements for the Superior and State Courts.
The office of the Clerk of Court functions as the recorder for the county's records, filing legal records and making most of them available for public inspection. Here are a few of the types of documents that may be found in this office:
Court: Court records come from the three courts that operate in Habersham County: Superior, State, and Magistrate.
Liens (where fi fas are issued): Property tax fi fas, IRS and state tax liens, and judgments entered in civil cases may be found here. When a tax lien has been satisfied, it is marked "Canceled and Satisfied," but it is still left on the books as a matter of public record.
Property: Deeds (warranty, quit claim, and security) and plats are not required by law to be filed, but making sure they are recorded may be a big protection to a property owner in the future should a dispute arise regarding ownership or the legality of a sale. See menu at right for more information on this subject.
Military discharges: Military discharges are also not required by law to be recorded, but doing so may prevent unnecessary problems should the original papers be lost. For more information, select Military Discharges on the menu at right.
Adoptions: Adoptions are confidential and records may not be viewed without a court order.
Trade name registrations: A business trade name may be legally recorded here by filling out a form available in this office. See menu at right for more information.
Name changes: Personal name changes are also part of the records that are maintained in this office.
This office also handles payments involving the records listed above, such as traffic tickets, child support, filing costs, etc.