2010 Georgia Code
§ 15-11-114 - Conduct of hearing; appeal

O.C.G.A. 15-11-114 (2010)
15-11-114. Conduct of hearing; appeal

(a) An unemancipated minor may participate in proceedings in the court on such minor's own behalf and the court shall advise such minor of the right to court appointed counsel and shall provide such minor with such counsel upon request or if such minor is not already adequately represented.

(b) All court proceedings under this Code section shall be conducted in a manner to preserve the complete anonymity of the parties and shall be given such precedence over other pending matters as is necessary to ensure that a decision is reached by the court as expeditiously as is possible under the circumstances of the case. In no event shall the name, address, birth date, or social security number of such minor be disclosed.

(c) The requirement of subparagraph (a)(1)(A), (a)(1)(B), or (a)(1)(C) of Code Section 15-11-112 shall be waived if the court finds either:

(1) That the unemancipated minor is mature enough and well enough informed to make the abortion decision in consultation with her physician, independently of the wishes of such minor's parent or guardian; or

(2) That the notice to a parent or, if the minor is subject to guardianship, the legal guardian pursuant to Code Section 15-11-112 would not be in the best interests of the minor.

(d) A court that conducts proceedings under this Code section shall issue written and specific factual findings and legal conclusions supporting its decision and shall order that a record of the evidence be maintained. The juvenile court shall render its decision within 24 hours of the conclusion of the hearing and a certified copy of same shall be furnished immediately to the minor. If the juvenile court fails to render its decision within 24 hours after the conclusion of the hearing, then the petition shall be deemed granted. All juvenile court records shall be sealed in a manner which will preserve anonymity.

(e) An expedited appeal completely preserving the anonymity of the parties shall be available to any unemancipated minor to whom the court denies a waiver of notice. The appellate courts are authorized and requested to issue promptly such rules as are necessary to preserve anonymity and to ensure the expeditious disposition of procedures provided by this Code section. In no event shall the name, address, birth date, or social security number of such minor be disclosed during the expedited appeal or thereafter.

(f) No filing fees shall be required of any unemancipated minor who uses the procedures provided by this Code section.

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