In accordance with O.C.G.A. 15-19-51, the Clerk’s Office is strictly prohibited from providing any legal advice. To ensure that all procedures are followed and the rights of all parties are protected, it is advised to seek legal counsel from a licensed attorney. State Court Civil F.A.Q.s (Click on the question to jump to the question and answer .) What happens if I file my petition in the wrong county? How will the defendant know that a civil suit has been filed against them? What happens after the defendant has been served with a civil suit? Why is my check being garnished? How long does a garnishment last? How long does the garnishee have to file the first answer to the court? What amount will be taken from my check? What happens if the garnishee does not deduct from my check? What is a traverse? What happens if I file my petition in the wrong county? If you file a petition in the State or Superior Court of Muscogee County and it is later determined that the defendant resides in a different county, you can submit a motion and order to have the case transferred to the proper county. There is an additional cost and you may be required to pay an additional service fee. Back to Questions How will the defendant know that a civil suit has been filed against them? You must have the defendant served by the Sheriff’s Department or an authorized Process Server that will serve the suit to the defendant at the address you provide to the court. Back to Questions What happens after the defendant has been served with a civil suit? The defendant has 30 days from the date of service to file an answer with the Court without going into default. If the defendant fails to file an answer within 30 days, the petition will be in default. The defendant then has an additional 15 days to file an answer with the Court by paying all accrued costs to open the default. Back to Questions Why is my check being garnished? If your check is being garnished, then there is a judgment against you. It is also possible that there is a Federal or State Lien against you. Back to Questions How long does a garnishment last? A continuing garnishment is good for 195 days from the date of service. Back to Questions How long does the garnishee have to file the first answer to the court? The garnishee must first answer no sooner than 30 days, but no later than 45 days from the date of service. Back to Questions What amount will be taken from my check? If the garnishment is a result of a judgment against you, then 25% of your disposable earnings is deducted. If the garnishment is a result of child support or alimony arrangement, then 50% of your disposable earnings is deducted. Back to Questions What happens if the garnishee does not deduct from my check? The garnishee will be in default and a default judgment may be entered against the garnishee for the amount garnished. Back to Questions What is a traverse? A traverse is a statement challenging the validity of the garnishment whether it is untrue or legally insufficient. Any party in the garnishment may file a traverse with the court. The plaintiff may file no later than 15 days after the answer of the garnishee. The defendant may file any time after the garnishment is filed. All funds tendered in the registry of the court will be held until the traverse is ruled on. Back to Questions