2020 Georgia Code
Title 15 - Courts
Chapter 9 - Probate Courts
Article 3 - Costs and Compensation
§ 15-9-63. (Effective Until January 1, 2021. See note.) Schedule of Minimum Salaries

Universal Citation: GA Code § 15-9-63 (2020)
    1. Any other laws to the contrary notwithstanding, the minimum annual salary of each judge of the probate court in this state shall be fixed according to the population of the county in which he or she serves, as determined by the United States decennial census of 2000 or any future such census; provided, however, that such annual salary shall be recalculated in any year following a census year in which the Department of Community Affairs publishes a census estimate for the county prior to July 1 in such year that is higher than the immediately preceding decennial census. Each such judge of the probate court shall receive an annual salary, payable in equal monthly installments from the funds of his or her county, of not less than the amount fixed in the following schedule:
    2. Whenever the state employees subject to compensation plans authorized and approved in accordance with Code Section 45-20-4 receive a cost-of-living increase or general performance based increase of a certain percentage or a certain amount, the amounts fixed in the minimum salary schedule in paragraph (1) of this subsection and in Code Section 15-9-64, or the amounts derived by increasing each of said amounts through the application of longevity increases pursuant to Code Section 15-9-65, where applicable, shall be increased by the same percentage or same amount applicable to such state employees. If the cost-of-living increase or general performance based increase received by state employees is in different percentages or different amounts as to certain categories of employees, the amounts fixed in the minimum salary schedule in paragraph (1) of this subsection, and in Code Section 15-9-64, or the amounts derived through the application of longevity increases, shall be increased by a percentage or an amount not to exceed the average percentage or average amount of the general increase in salary granted to the state employees. The Office of Planning and Budget shall calculate the average percentage increase or average amount increase when necessary. The periodic changes in the amounts fixed in the minimum salary schedule in paragraph (1) of this subsection, and in Code Section 15-9-64, or the amounts derived through the application of longevity increases, as authorized by this paragraph shall become effective on the first day of January following the date that the cost-of-living increases or general performance based increases received by state employees become effective; provided, however, that if the cost-of-living increases received by state employees become effective on January 1, such periodic changes in the amounts fixed in the minimum salary schedule in paragraph (1) of this subsection and in Code Section 15-9-64, or the amounts derived by increasing each of said amounts through the application of longevity increases pursuant to Code Section 15-9-65, where applicable, as authorized by this paragraph shall become effective on the same date that the cost-of-living increases or general performance based increases received by state employees become effective.
    3. The county governing authority may supplement the minimum annual salary of the judge of the probate court in such amount as it may fix from time to time; but no probate judge's compensation supplement shall be decreased during any term of office. A county governing authority shall not be required to pay a local supplement to a judge beyond the term of office for which such supplement was approved. Any prior expenditure of county funds to supplement the probate judge's salary in the manner authorized by this paragraph is ratified and confirmed. Nothing contained in this paragraph shall prohibit the General Assembly by local law from supplementing the annual salary of the probate judge.
  1. In any county in which more than 70 percent of the population of the county according to the United States decennial census of 1990 or any future such census resides on property of the United States government which is exempt from taxation by this state, the population of the county for purposes of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be deemed to be the total population of the county minus the population of the county which resides on property of the United States government.

Population Minimum Salary ---------- -------------- 0 - 5,999 $ 29,832.20 6,000 - 11,889 40,967.92 11,890 - 19,999 46,408.38 20,000 - 28,999 49,721.70 29,000 - 38,999 53,035.03 39,000 - 49,999 56,352.46 50,000 - 74,999 63,164.60 75,000 - 99,999 67,800.09 100,000 - 149,999 72,434.13 150,000 - 199,999 77,344.56 200,000 - 249,999 84,458.82 250,000 - 299,999 91,682.66 300,000 - 399,999 101,207.60 400,000 - 499,999 105,316.72 500,000 or more 109,425.84

(Ga. L. 1974, p. 455, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1953, § 1; Ga. L. 1980, p. 551, § 1; Ga. L. 1981, p. 518, § 1; Ga. L. 1983, p. 482, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 932, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 440, § 2.1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 931, § 2; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1478, § 3; Ga. L. 1994, p. 620, § 3; Ga. L. 1996, p. 1231, § 2; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1159, § 9; Ga. L. 1999, p. 765, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 902, § 4; Ga. L. 2006, p. 568, § 3/SB 450; Ga. L. 2009, p. 745, § 1/SB 97; Ga. L. 2012, p. 446, § 2-12/HB 642; Ga. L. 2014, p. 395, § 2/SB 341.)

Cross references.

- Further provisions regarding compensation of judges of probate court, § 15-1-12.

Editor's notes.

- Code Section 15-9-63 is set out twice in this Code. The first version is effective until January 1, 2021, and the second version becomes effective on January 1, 2021.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Probate judge of Calhoun County is an elected official whose salary is controlled by Ga. L. 1971, p. 2914, O.C.G.A. §§ 15-9-63 and15-9-64. Porter v. Calhoun County, 250 Ga. 566, 300 S.E.2d 143 (1983).

Effect on person serving as probate judge and magistrate.

- Section 7-2 of Ga. L. 1983, p. 884 does not mean that a person who served in the dual capacity of probate judge and small claims court judge prior to the effective date of the Magistrate Courts Act, and who now serves in the dual capacity of probate judge and magistrate by virtue of that Act, cannot be required to take a reduction in pay. The section has no applicability to the compensation of the office of magistrate, regardless of whether a person holding that office also serves as a probate judge. Porter v. Calhoun County Bd. of Comm'rs, 252 Ga. 446, 314 S.E.2d 649 (1984).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Intent of this section is to establish minimum, uniform salaries for probate judges based upon the population of the county in which the judges serve. 1975 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U75-99.

Salaried probate judges may not retain fees for maintaining and certifying vital records absent express legislative authorization. 1976 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U76-53.

Current term counted in determining salary, but not for 5 percent increase.

- Current term of office of judges of probate court should be counted for determining salaries under this article, but probate judges are not entitled to a 5 percent increase provided for in O.C.G.A. § 15-9-65 above minimum salaries set forth in O.C.G.A. § 15-9-63 by virtue of service in the judges' current term of office. 1981 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 81-43.

Effect of cost-of-living increases.

- Cost-of-living increases for sheriffs, probate judges, clerks of superior court, tax collectors, and tax commissioners adopted by the State Personnel Board for fiscal year 1989-1990 should take the same form as the corresponding cost-of-living increases for classified employees of the Merit System so that those salaries less than $18,000 in the schedules for sheriff, clerk, probate judge, tax collector, and tax commissioner would be increased $450, the rest 21/2 percent. 1989 Op. Att'y Gen. 89-33.

Alternative salary provisions.

- Probate judges who were placed on salaries by former T. 15, C. 22 (repealed) were entitled to receive an applicable salary set pursuant to that chapter or by O.C.G.A. §§ 15-9-63 through15-9-67 (minimum salary statute), whichever was greater. 1982 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 82-45.

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