Ordinance/Animal Control Violations
Magistrate Court presides over all county ordinance violations, including but not limited to, animal control violations, and violations of zoning ordinances. Hearings on County Ordinance violations occur on the second Monday of each month and are presided over by either the Chief Magistrate Judge or the Associate Magistrate Judges.
In lieu of actually appearing in court, in most cases the Defendant may post a cash bond with the Magistrate Court Clerk no later than the Friday immediately before the Court Date. In order to post a cash bond, the Defendant must tender the cash bond in person at the Clerk’s Office, 280 Constitution Boulevard, First Floor - Room 1109, Dallas, GA 30132 (Phone: 770-443-7533). A Defendant may also send in the cash bond by mail (money order or cashier’s check only), but it will only be accepted if accompanied by a fully executed Cash Bond Form which is available for download at www.paulding.gov/791/Forms. Cash bonds posted by mail must be received no later than the Friday immediately before the Court Date.
Please have your case number or citation number available when you use these services.
Animal Control & Codes Violations Hearings:
When you are served with a citation from either county agency, the citation will list your charge(s) as well as a court date.
Magistrate Court Ordinance hearings are held at 9 am on the second Monday of each month, unless it is a special set case or another time is given to you to appear.
Failure to Appear:
If you fail to appear for your arraignment, trial or compliance hearing a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest.
On your court date, when your case is called, you will have an opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty. If you are guilty, you will more than likely have a fine. The fine is due on the morning of court. If you do not have the money, you will be placed on probation, to pay the fines in full.
In some incidences, the judge may issue an order that you would have to comply with, such as have a fence put up to ensure animals are restrained or have the property cleaned if there are unsanitary conditions. If you have such an order, you will have a 2nd court date given to you in court where your case will be reviewed to see if you are in compliance.
If you plead not guilty, and want your case to be resolved in the Magistrate Court, you will be given a 2nd court date called a Bench Trial. On this date, further evidence will be taken from the prosecuting witness (Animal Control, Codes, or witnesses that have been subpoenaed).
The maximum sentence for most County Ordinance violations is up to six months in confinement and up to $1,000 in fines, per offense. The Court may sentence a Defendant to probation to avoid requiring the Defendant to be incarcerated. As a condition of probation, the Defendant may be ordered to pay fines, perform community service, undergo certain types of counseling, have a curfew, refrain from certain types of conduct, pursue an education, submit to random drug screens and/or other conditions that the Court may deem appropriate under the circumstances. All persons placed on probation will be required to pay a probation supervision fee and all of the surcharges on such fines required under Georgia law. If the Defendant violates the terms of probation, the probation officer may request that the Defendant be brought back to court and, if the Court finds that the Defendant has violated his or her probation, the Defendant may be sentenced to serve the time remaining on the original sentence in confinement or the probation may be modified to address the deficiencies alleged by the probation officer.
Please contact Paulding County Magistrate Court at (770)443-7533 if you have any further questions.
This site is intended to give a general overview of the process and procedure of a County Ordinance violation in Magistrate Court. The Court is specifically prohibited from giving legal advice and this site is not intended to provide legal advice. The Court encourages all persons charged with a criminal offense to seek the advice of legal counsel before making any court appearance.