LAWRENCEVILLE LEGITIMATION ATTORNEY – HOW TO FILE A LEGITIMATION CASE IN GWINNETT COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT – DOUGLAS W. LEWIS, ESQ.
Douglas W. Lewis, Lawrenceville Legitimation Attorney – serving Gwinnett County and the metro-Atlanta area in Divorce, Family Law, Legitimation, Paternity, Modification, Contempt and Custody cases.
8 Steps to Take to File a Legitimation Case in Gwinnett County Superior Court
- To file the legitimation action in Gwinnett County the other parent must be a resident of Gwinnett County. For example, if you live in Gwinnett County, but the other parent lives in Fulton County then you must file the legitimation in Fulton County (unless the other parent waives venue). Or if you live in Barrow County, but the other parent lives in Gwinnett County, then the legitimation action would be properly filed in Gwinnett County.
- All legitimation cases filed in Georgia must be filed in the appropriate Superior Court. All legitimation cases filed in Gwinnett County must be filed with the Gwinnett County Superior Court clerk. (However, there are limited situations when the action must be filed in Juvenile Court). The clerk's office is on the first floor of the courthouse located at 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville, Georgia (the courthouse is also known as the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center or “GJAC”).
- When you file the legitimation action you must pay the clerk a filing fee of $206.00 (said fee is subject to change).
- There must be a Summons attached to the Petition for Legitimation. The legitimation pleadings (the Summons, the Petition for Legitimation and any Standing Orders) must be served upon your spouse. Usually the Defendant is personally served with a copy of the legitimation pleadings by a deputy sheriff or by a private process server. The Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department charges a fee of $50.00 to attempt service on a Defendant. If you want to use the services of a private process server in Gwinnett County then a motion must be filed with the court to request that a particular process server be appointed by the judge to personally serve the Defendant with the legitimation pleadings. The fee charged by private process servers varies depending on travel time and other circumstances.
- When a legitimation action is filed the case will then be given a specific case number. The last digit of the case number will indicate which judge has been assigned to your case. For example, in Gwinnett County Superior Court if the last digit of your case number ends in 7 then you know your case has been assigned to Chief Judge Melodie Snell Conner. There are ten (10) Gwinnett County Superior Court judges.
- Once the defendant has been properly served with a copy of the legitimation pleadings then your case will proceed. A legitimation case will either be an uncontested case or a contested case. An uncontested or settled case means the parties have signed a Parenting Plan and Consent Order which resolves all issues in the legitimation case and the Agreement has been approved by the judge assigned to the case. (If the judge does not approve of the terms of the settlement then the case is not settled.) A contested legitimation case is a case in which the parties are unable or unwilling to settle and thus the case will go to trial before the judge.
- Each legitimation case is unique and some can be quite complex. Many cases involve some or all of the following: Answer and Counterclaim, Interrogatories, Request for Production of Documents, Request for Admissions, Depositions, an Emergency Hearing, a Temporary Hearing, a Contempt Hearing, Domestic Relations Financial Affidavits, Mediation, a Guardian ad Litem, Child Support Worksheets, Child Support Addendums, Parenting Plans, a Protective or Restraining Order, Parenting Seminars, and a Final Hearing.
- Review my five-part article “11 ESSENTIAL THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT LEGITIMATION IN GEORGIA“.
If you or a family member or a friend have any questions about a legitimation case in Gwinnett County, or in any other County in the metro-Atlanta area including Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton, Walton, Barrow, Hall and Forsyth counties, then please do not hesitate to immediately call attorney Doug Lewis at770-682-3765 for a free initial telephone consultation.
Lawrenceville Legitimation Lawyer Douglas W. Lewis has over twenty years of experience in Gwinnett County and the Atlanta Metro area handling divorce, legitimation, paternity and child custody cases, family law cases, personal injury cases, criminal defense, civil litigation cases and estate planning matters. If you have any questions please call the Lawrenceville office for a free initial phone consultation or to schedule an office consultation. You can contact attorney Doug Lewis by telephone at 770-682-3765, via email. Client reviews can be found on Mr. Lewis' Google + page and on hiswebsite.