As we continue to work through the COVID-19 pandemic, we offer an innovative and convenient virtual court process that allows certain cases to be processed through video conferencing using the Zoom app. This allows defendants to take care of their judicial matters, while ensure their well being as well as that of the court staff.
As we work to put new procedures in place, we hope that you understand that these changes are not meant to inconvenience you but rather to help ensure that everyone who enters our City Hall and courtroom has the opportunity to handle their judicial matter safely and efficiently.
Virtual court sessions are held each Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Defendants will be notified of their specific dates and times prior to their cases being heard.
Video & Audio Requirements
You can attend a virtual court hearing using your computer, mobile device or a video system. You don’t need a Zoom account to join hearings to which you’re invited because all proceedings are hosted by the court to ensure they remain secure. Defendants will receive information by email explaining how to join their virtual hearings.
All video conferencing hearings in the City of South Fulton require both working video and audio connections and cannot be joined solely by audio. It is recommended defendants join a test meeting to make sure their audio and video devices work as expected. If an attorney, is representing you, he or she must request a hearing.
Pleading Not Guilty & Requesting a Trial
A defendant wishing to enter plea of not guilty and request a trial can do so through a virtual hearing. He or she may request a non-jury bench trial, which will be scheduled for a later date in Municipal Court. A jury trial also may be requested. Such cases are transferred from Municipal Court to the State Court of Fulton County.
A defendant requesting a jury trial receives written notice of the date of initial appearance in state court, where a trial date is determined. Those wanting to change their please may do so before the trial date. Anyone fail to appear for a trial or other court date is subject to arrest and assessment of fees and court costs.
Pleading of guilty or nolo contendere
A defendant who has accepted a plea agreement may enter that plea through virtual court. Plea forms must be completed in advance and can be returned by mail or scanned copies can be emailed. Mailed forms must be postmarked at least 10 days before the court date. Scanned copies must be emailed at least 72 hours before the court date.
Virtual plea hearings are not conducted for cases in which a driver’s license suspension is necessary, such as a driving under the influence charge.