2010 Georgia Code
O.C.G.A. 15-10-44 (2010)
TITLE 15 - COURTS
CHAPTER 10 - MAGISTRATE COURTS
ARTICLE 3 - CIVIL PROCEEDINGS
§ 15-10-44 - Trial procedure
15-10-44. Trial procedure
(a) The trial shall be conducted on the day set for the hearing, or at such later time as the judge may set. Immediately prior to the trial of any case, the judge shall counsel the parties to make an earnest effort to settle the controversy by conciliation. If the parties fail to settle their differences without a trial, the judge shall proceed with the hearing on its merits.
(b) The judge shall conduct the trial in such manner as to do substantial justice between the parties according to the rules of substantive law. All rules and regulations relating to pleading, practice, and procedure shall be liberally construed so as to administer justice.
(c) If the plaintiff fails to appear, the action may be dismissed for want of prosecution, the defendant may proceed to a trial on the merits, or the case may be continued as the judge may direct. If both parties fail to appear, the judge may continue the case, order the same dismissed for want of prosecution, or make any other just and proper disposition thereof, as justice may require.
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