2016 Enacted Legislation

The 2016 Regular Session of the 153rd Georgia General Assembly convened on January 11, 2016, and adjourned Sine Die on March 24, 2016. During the course of the legislative session, lawmakers considered legislation on a wide array of issues such as the expansion of MARTA, educational reforms and tax credits for rural healthcare facilities – among other issues.

A number of bills that affect the judiciary were passed including the modification of appellate jurisdiction, the addition of two justiceships to the Georgia Supreme Court and increased funds for grants for civil legal services for domestic violence victims and the Cold Case Project which seeks to identify the children that are likely to age out of the foster care system without a family. As in the previous four legislative sessions, the General Assembly passed another tranche of criminal justice reforms that included the expansion of accountability courts and pre-trial intervention programs across the state.

During the session there were four Judicial Council-supported bills that received final passage: HB 691, SB 255, SB 262 and SB 64. HB 691 amends O.C.G.A. § 36-32-1 to provide removal for cause provisions for municipal court judges and procedures for removal proceedings. SB 255 restructures the garnishment statutes and provides for garnishment reform. SB 64 repeals O.C.G.A. § 19-7-21.1, the Code Section that provides for administrative legitimation. Finally, SB 262 limits the degree of consanguinity between judges and parties who appear before them from six degrees to three. The language of HB 1027, which clarifies provisions on e-filing in superior, state and magistrate courts, was added to SB 262. The statutory definition of DUI courts and the adjustment of appellate court terms, two items also supported by the Judicial Council, were included in omnibus pieces of legislation and received final passage.

To view the legislative summaries of all bills tracked by the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts, please visit us at: legislation.georgiacourts.gov.

To view all bills introduced during the Georgia General Assembly’s 2016 session, go to www.legis.ga.gov/.

To view the bills signed by the governor in 2016, visit https://gov.georgia.gov/legislation/2016.

To view the 2016 Summary of Enacted Legislation, please click here