Southern District of Georgia

Overview of the Southern District of Georgia

The Southern District of Georgia is one of three federal judicial districts in the state of Georgia. It covers the southern portion of the state.

Location and Establishment

The Southern District of Georgia was established on August 11, 1848 by an act of Congress. The district is headquartered in Savannah, with divisional offices in several other cities.

U.S. Marshal and Courthouses

The U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Georgia is David L. Lyons. The main courthouse for the district is the U.S. Courthouse Annex located at 1124 Barnard Street in Savannah.

Counties Served

The Southern District of Georgia serves 48 counties in southern Georgia. These include:

Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Coffee, Columbia, Dodge, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glascock, Glynn, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Laurens, Liberty, Lincoln, Long, McDuffie, McIntosh, Montgomery, Pierce, Richmond, Screven, Taliaferro, Tattnall, Telfair, Toombs, Treutlen, Ware, Warren, Wayne, Wheeler, Wilkes

Court Locations

In addition to Savannah, court is held in several divisional cities including Augusta, Dublin, Waycross, Brunswick, and Statesboro.

See also  Kings County Family Court

History and Jurisdiction

The Southern District of Georgia has a long and notable history since its establishment in 1848. Its jurisdiction has expanded over time.

Establishment and Early History

The Southern District of Georgia was one of the original two districts, along with the Northern District, created when Georgia was divided into districts in 1848. At that time, the Southern District consisted of 22 counties in the southeastern part of the state. The first judge appointed was William Law.

Expansion of Jurisdiction

Over the years, the number of counties served by the Southern District grew through division and reorganization. It now covers the vast majority of southern Georgia from the Atlantic coast to the Alabama border. Population growth led to more cases and judges being added.

Notable Cases and Judges

The Southern District has handled many high-profile cases through the years, including early civil rights cases. Notable judges include B. Avant Edenfield, a distinguished jurist who served as chief district judge prior to his death in 2012.

Court Operations and Procedure

The Southern District of Georgia has standard practices and procedures for filing cases, selecting juries, and following local rules.

Judges and Staff

The court currently has four district judges and five magistrate judges. The clerk of court oversees court staff including deputies and administrative personnel across all divisional offices.

Filing Procedures

Civil and criminal cases are filed with the clerk of court in the proper divisional office. Electronic filing through CM/ECF is mandatory for attorneys. Pro se litigants may file in person or by mail.


Local Rules and Fees

The Southern District follows the Federal Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure along with its own Local Rules. Court fees apply according to the fee schedule.

Petit and Grand Juries

The court empanels petit juries for trials and grand juries to hear evidence and issue indictments. Jurors are randomly selected from voter rolls in each division. Grand juries sit for 18 month terms.

Court Resources and Information

The Southern District provides a wealth of resources for attorneys, jurors, media, and the public.

Contact Information

Contact info for the Clerk’s office and all divisional offices can be found on the court’s contact page.

Docket Information

Docket sheets and documents filed in cases can be viewed through the online PACER system.

Attorney Resources

The court website offers a variety of resources for attorneys including the local rules, CM/ECF procedures, and jury instructions.


In summary, the Southern District of Georgia has a long history of serving the southern part of the state. Its jurisdiction, operations, and resources have expanded and evolved to efficiently handle the federal judicial caseload in the region. The court provides accessibility and information to attorneys, media, and the public through its websites and divisional offices.


How many judges serve on the Southern District of Georgia?

The Southern District of Georgia currently has four district court judges and five magistrate judges.

What are the requirements for serving on a jury?

Jurors must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years old, fluent in English, have no disqualifying criminal convictions, and be mentally and physically capable of serving.

See also  Wicomico County Circuit Court

How can I find records for cases filed in the court?

Case documents and docket sheets can be viewed online through the PACER system with a registered account.

Where are grand juries empaneled?

Grand juries sit in each of the district’s five divisional cities: Savannah, Augusta, Waycross, Brunswick, and Statesboro.

What district court hears appeals from the Southern District of Georgia?

Decisions from the Southern District of Georgia may be appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

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