Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fulton County Courthouse is now closed to the public until further notice.
The closing does not mean a full shutdown of courthouse operations, as there are still essential duties that need to be performed. It does, however, mean that anyone wishing to enter the courthouse will need to call ahead.
“By appointment, we will let people come in after we field the reason why they’re coming in to make sure it isn’t something that can be handled over the phone or online,” Fulton County Clerk Teri Furnivall said.
“I think everybody here experiences the same thing that everyone’s experiencing. It’s just so unknown,” Furnivall said, noting all of her staff are still working. “We do have essential things that have to be done. Could we reduce staff? Maybe. But right now everybody is still busy ... Attorneys are still out there filing cases, people are still needing to make payments, everything has to be done, we just don’t get a bye because of this.”
Fortunately, she said, the clerk’s office has been operating electronically for more than two years, meaning certain operations can continue unchanged.
Those wanting a copy of a document are asked to call 223-7794. Furnivall says document fees are being waived at this time, and documents may be mailed or emailed. Her preferred method of sending particularly sensitive documents is by mail.
Anyone wanting to file paperwork on an existing small claim or to file for a lost title should call 223-7712.
“We will mail or email you lost title paperwork and you can mail or email it back to us,” a public notice states. “We will take the payment for a new lost title case in the form of a money order or check and we will accept personal checks until further notice. Do not send cash. You can also pay over the phone using a debit or credit card.”
The clerk’s office will continue to assist title researchers by emailing or mailing documents they need and answering questions regarding their research.
The clerk’s office is limiting the issuance of marriage licenses.
“We’re encouraging people if it’s going to be over two weeks before they get married to wait because a marriage license is good for 60 days,” Furnivall said.
Those wanting to apply for a marriage license should call 223-4824. Anyone getting married in no later than 14 days will be allowed into the courthouse to apply for a license; however, those getting married outside that 14-day window are asked to wait until two weeks prior to their wedding date to come in for a license.
Anyone wanting to apply for a passport should call 223-5458 and a determination will be made on how best to handle the request.
Those who need to make a cash support payment should call 223-7712.
“We will take them, but we’ll meet them at the door to get the money and give them a paper receipt,” Furnivall said of cash support payments. “We really don’t want them to come in for that.”
Individuals making cash support payments are to be provided information about how to start paying their child support directly to the state online.
All other types of payments will need to be made online or by mailing in a money order or cashier’s check. For more information on how to make a payment, call 223-4824.
All of our staff are still on-site, Furnivall says.
At this time, there are no plans to close the courts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, only litigants, their attorneys and media, will be allowed in Fulton Circuit Court or Fulton Superior Court.
Social distancing will be required inside the courthouse. Those who are sick are asked to file a motion to continue their case.
Nonessential hearings, as determined by the courts, may be continued on the courts’ own motion.
Those with questions are encouraged to contact the court in which their case is filed – Fulton Circuit Court, 223-7741; or Fulton Superior Court, 223-3506. For specific needs, call 223-2911.
“These measures are being taken to protect the health of the courthouse employees and shall be in effect until further order,” a press release from the courts states.