Georgia Business Court Established
In November 2018, Georgia voters approved a constitutional amendment to establish a statewide business court. In 2019, the Georgia legislature passed a bill detailing the action plan for implementing the statewide business court.
The business court will begin taking cases on August 1, 2020, and will be located in either Atlanta or Macon, Georgia.
House Bill 239, effective May 7, 2019, specifies that one judge with at least 15 years of legal experience as an attorney or judge in complex litigation will be appointed by the Georgia governor and serve a five-year term with the possibility of reappointment. The governor’s appointment is unusual because Georgia judges are elected to the bench. Other important aspects of the business court include:
- The business court has authority to hear claims involving the Uniform Commercial Code, the Georgia Uniform Securities Act, the Georgia Business Corporation Code, and other business disputes. The court also has supplemental jurisdiction over all pending claims related to those business claims.
- The court can grant equitable relief, including injunctions.
- The business court does not have jurisdiction to resolve certain federal and state claims, including residential landlord/tenant disputes, foreclosures, and individual consumer claims.
- Qualifying cases may be transferred from state courts to the business court with the consent of the parties, with the cost of $3,000 to file or transfer a case to the business court.
On July 15, 2019, Governor Brian P. Kemp appointed attorney Walter W. Davis to serve as the first statewide business court judge.