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State Court Administration

State Court Building Tower

FAQ Topics

How is the State Court established?

The mission of the Cobb County State Court is to provide the highest degree of professionalism, efficiency, and cost effectiveness in serving the citizens of Cobb County in accordance with the authority and jurisdictional boundaries set forth for a State Court in the Official Code of Georgia.

The Official Code of Georgia, Section 15-7-4, provides authority for the following matters to be handled by the State Court of Cobb County: criminal cases below the grade of felony, civil actions without regard to the amount of controversy, except those actions in which exclusive jurisdiction is vested in Superior Court, and traffic cases.

The State Court of Cobb County, created by a legislative act, is comprised of twelve elected judges, their support staff, and State Court Services. Cases brought before the judges are completed by way of jury and non-jury trials in addition to pleas and settlements.

The State Court Services office provides administrative support for the judges of the state court as well as the Sentence Enforcement Unit. This administrative support includes budget formulation and implementation, purchasing, personnel records and management of the State Court of Cobb County’s jury system. Additionally, this office serves as liaison between the court and the other departments of county government public sector, media and other levels of government such as municipal, state and federal.

What is the State Court Sentence Enforcement Unit?

The Cobb County State Court Sentence Enforcement Unit provides professional services to the court, community, and the adult offender when probated cases are utilized. A probated sentence is a sentence to confinement; however, the defendant is allowed to serve the time outside of confinement as long as he/she complies with the court’s general and special conditions.

When does my probation begin?

Your probation starts the day the Judge signs the sentence sheet. The minute you walk out of the courtroom is when you must start following the general and special conditions of probation. You will be held accountable for your actions from that moment forward.

What if my due date is on a weekend?

If you have something that is due on a weekend, you are to complete it before the due date and then you may turn it in to your Probation Officer on the following business day.

What if I cannot make it to my appointment?

You must have a valid excuse for missing an appointment. Lack of transportation or money is not a valid excuse. You need to contact your Probation Officer as soon as you know of the conflict with your appointment. If you or an immediate family member is sick, then you will need to bring to your Probation Officer a note from the doctor and report as soon as the doctor has cleared you.

What happens if I miss a court date?

A warrant will be obtained for anyone who misses a court date. If you have completed all past due conditions of your probation, you can contact your Probation Officer to see if your warrant is eligible for a dismissal. If you have not completed all past due conditions, then you will need to turn yourself in.

You can either turn yourself in at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center at 1825 County Services Parkway, Marietta, GA 30008 or come to the probation office.

Once you are in the custody of the Sherriff’s Department, you will be set for the next available revocation hearing.

What can I do if I am late on a payment?

If you are less than 1 month late on a payment then come to the courthouse to make your payment or mail your payment immediately. If you are over a month past due, then you can expect a court date to come in the mail. It is best that you make the payment as soon as possible and bring the receipt of payment to your Probation Officer.

Why is my fine so high?

If you go to the Interpreting Sentence Sheets page, you will see where you can find your fine written on the Sentence Sheet. You will also see in that paragraph, it states “plus all applicable surcharges”.

The Georgia State Legislature has added extra fees to the offenses to pay for government-run programs such as Driver’s Education and Training Fund, Indigent Defense Fund, Jail Fund, Peace Officers Training Fund, and Victim Assistance. These are just a few of the Funds that the surcharges help financially support. If you want a breakdown of the surcharges that apply to your offense, you can find them listed on your receipt from the Cobb County State Court Clerk’s Office.

What is the difference between fines, restitution, and fees?

A fine is based on the offense in which you are convicted. The amount is determined by Georgia State Law. This could also take into account court costs.

The restitution would be money that you owe to a person or business. This could be money that you owe for a Court Appointed Attorney. It could also be to pay back the victim for the financial damage that you caused.

The fees are a supervisory fee that the courts charge for allowing you to go on probation. This is a monthly fee whether you see your Probation Officer or not.

Who is my Probation Officer?

Your Probation Officer’s name and phone number can be found at the top of the Action Plan that you were given by the Intake Officer.

How can I contact my Probation Officer if I am unable to reach them by phone?

Each Probation Officer in this office supervises between 350-500 people on probation. They also spend a lot of time in the courtroom. If you are not able to reach your Probation Officer by phone then send them a letter by fax with your question and phone number. If it is an emergency that needs immediate attention then come to the probation office in person.

What is the difference in nonreporting and report by phone, fax, or mail?

When you are on nonreporting, you do not report on a regular basis to a Probation Officer. You are still responsible for meeting all the general and special conditions of your sentence, but you are not making contact with your Probation Officer on a regular basis.

When a Judge or Probation Officer allows you to report by phone, fax, or mail, you are still required to make contact with your Probation Officer on a regular basis. This regular schedule will be at the discretion of your Probation Officer. The Probation Officer will tell you how you are to report and when you are to report. This is usually discussed during your first appointment. Most Probation Officers do not allow phone reporting and require you to report in writing by mail or fax. While on report by phone, fax, or mail, you are still responsible for meeting all the general and special conditions of the sentence.

Your Probation Officer has the authority to make you report in person if he/she feels it is necessary.

Can I get a second evaluation?

If your evaluation is not past your due date or you have been given the extra time by the Judge or your Probation Officer, you may get a second evaluation. Both evaluations must be given to your Probation Officer. All of your information, to include arrests and alcohol/drug use, must be contained in both evaluations. The second evaluator must see the first evaluation and explain why he/she agrees or disagrees with the recommendations of the first evaluation. Your Probation Officer still has the final say in which evaluation is followed.

What if I missed an Alcohol/Drug test?

On the day of court, you stand before a Judge and they tell you no alcohol and no drugs. They also tell you that you will submit to random alcohol and drug testing at your expense. You sign a Sentence Sheet stating that you understand this condition.

After court, you are taken to an Intake office where you sign an Action Plan that states, “A valid government issued picture ID is required for an alcohol/drug test. Failure to provide a test for any reason when directed may result in a revocation of probation”. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have the money to pay for the testing and a valid government issued picture ID.

Failure to submit to the test as directed by your Probation Officer will result in a revocation hearing of your probation and possible jail time.

Can my case be transferred to the county or state where I live?

Misdemeanor probation cases can NOT be transferred to another probation office within the state; however, you may complete the conditions of your probation in the county in which you live. Make sure to provide written proof of the completed conditions to your Probation Officer.

As far as a case transferring to another state, only cases that meet the requirements of Interstate Compact can transfer. A case that is 1 year or more of probation shall be eligible for transfer if the offenses included 1 or more of the following: direct or threatened physical or psychological harm, involved the use or possession of a firearm, a 2nd or subsequent misdemeanor offense of DUI by drugs or alcohol, or a sexual offense that requires the defendant to register as a sex offender. The defendant shall already have established residency in the state in which you want your Probation to transfer.

If your case meets the requirements of Interstate Compact, you will need to make an appointment to complete the paperwork. You shall schedule the appointment in the probation office the day of sentencing. The appointment will take at least 2 hours.

Be advised that filing the paperwork does not automatically allow your case to transfer. You must stay in Georgia until your state agrees to accept your case. This can be a very lengthy process.

What is a Petition For Revocation of Probation and what do I need to do if I receive this in the mail?

If you receive a Petition For Revocation of Probation, this means that you have failed to complete a condition of your probation within the timeframe that the Judge or your Probation Officer has given you. This court date is your time to explain to the Judge why you have not done what was ordered of you.

On the first page of the petition, the violations are listed. You are to immediately start working on completing the conditions listed. If you are able to complete ALL of the past due conditions before the court date, then bring them in person to the probation office and ask to speak to your Probation Officer. If you have not completed everything then come to court on the court date. You MUST appear in court unless your Probation Officer tells you otherwise. Make sure to bring everything that you have completed and/or started so that you can give to your Probation Officer in the courtroom. It is very important that you bring your paperwork to court with you.

It is your responsibility to provide the paperwork. It is not the responsibility of your counselor, community service organization, parent, spouse or anyone else.

What do I need to do at the end of my case to get my case closed?

Your Probation Officer will close your case on the date that it is to expire. When you reach this point in your case, all of the conditions of probation should be fulfilled. You just need to make sure that your final fee payment gets paid by the expiration date. You will not get anything in the mail unless you plead under the Conditional Discharge Act or First Offender Act. In these cases, a letter will be mailed to the address that you provided once all of the proper paperwork has been filed by your Probation Officer.

How do I get a letter of completion?

If you plead under the Conditional Discharge Act or First Offender Act, a letter of completion will be mailed to those defendants who have successfully completed their probation. Completion letters are given in other cases for those who are entering the military, for immigration, or to obtain a professional license (insurance, cosmetology, nursing, etc). Request must be made in person and you must provide a valid picture ID. The letter will only be released to the defendant or the defendant’s attorney.

What can I do if my family member/friend who is on probation is in custody?

Contact his/her Probation Officer by coming to the probation office. Let the Probation Officer know where he/she is in custody and for what reason. If you have the paperwork from the arrest, provide this documentation to the Probation Officer. If your family member/friend has completed conditions of his/her probation, bring the documentation to the Probation Officer. The Probation Officer will not be able to discuss the defendant’s case with you because of Georgia State Law (O.C.G.A. § 42-8-106); however, they will do their best to answer any questions that you have.

Why can't I, as a parent or spouse of the defendant, receive information about the defendant’s case?

Georgia State Law O.C.G.A. § 42-8-106 states that we are not allowed to discuss a probation case with anyone accept for the defendant, the defendant’s attorney that is appointed to represent the defendant, other government agencies involved in an investigation, and medical or mental health providers in relation to the defendant’s health and wellness. We will do our best to answer general questions that you have about probation, but the questions cannot be specific to any specific case.