The Lewis R. Slaton Courthouse in downtown Atlanta is an impressive building with a history all its own. Inside the Fulton County Courthouse however, many of the cases being tried are less impressive. In fact, the courthouse is something of a contrast between highly publicized criminal cases in Fulton County Superior Court, and the lesser publicized matters heard in the Fulton County Magistrate Court. The Fulton County Magistrate Court hears mostly misdemeanor cases and those involving less than $500. Even so, these less severe cases produce a great amount of tension and drama, not unlike the popular court shows on television.
Recently, Atlanta Magazine online featured an article highlighting the drama of the Fulton County Magistrate Court, comparing the daily happenings there to the likes of The People’s Court, Judge Judy, and even Jerry Springer. One of the primary reasons why there is so much drama here is because the cases being heard often involve families and high-tension situations. For example, two spouses who have filed charges against one another during a dispute, or the mother who is upset about her ex-husbands wife spanking their child.
A mediator in Atlanta that often works with the Magistrate Court believes there are several ways that plaintiffs and defendants can decrease the drama and more successfully resolve their case. The tips offered in regard to the Magistrate Court are applicable to anyone who is moving through the criminal justice process in Atlanta.
The mediator offers the following advice:
- Watch your mouth – When it comes to court cases, it is always best to live by the rule not to tell anyone anything that not everyone should know. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to spread rumors and unsavory information, and can lead to a breach in confidentiality.
- Watch your temper – Foul language and ranting on social media, over the phone, or through text messages is inappropriate at most times, but especially during a court battle. It is important that Georgia residents be aware that digital information is admissible in court as evidence.
- Get everything in writing – Whether it is buying a car from a dealer or selling a piece of property to a loved one, always get contracts, stipulations, and other documents in writing and have it notarized. This is the best way to protect your own interests in the event of a dispute.
- Get original documents – Always keep original documents, especially policies and titles. In the event of a dispute, these documents are critical to prove the validity of the claim.
- Avoid a naive attitude – Even good people are capable of doing bad things. Avoid being naive about people, and never judge a person simply based on his or her outward appearance and words.
- Read the fine print – Courts are not inclined to believe people who claim that they were unaware of the fine print on a contract bearing the individuals signature. Always read contracts in their entirety before signing, and do not be afraid to ask for legal guidance.
Avoid a Nasty Court Battle
Anyone who has been charged with a crime should be swift in obtaining legal representation. Not only will an experienced Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorney work to get you positive results, but he also will be sure that you follow the steps above in order to avoid a nasty court battle and additional stress. To avoid further complicating your criminal law matter, contact Abt Law Firm, LLC at 1-800-NOJAIL-9 (1-800-665-2459). We will gladly schedule you a free consultation at our Atlanta office, at the jail if you are incarcerated, or over the phone.