2021 Georgia Code
Title 9 - Civil Practice
Chapter 11 - Civil Practice Act
Article 6 - Trials
§ 9-11-54. Judgments

Universal Citation: GA Code § 9-11-54 (2021)
  1. Definition. The term "judgment," as used in this chapter, includes a decree and any order from which an appeal lies.
  2. Judgment upon multiple claims or involving multiple parties. When more than one claim for relief is presented in an action, whether as a claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, or when multiple parties are involved, the court may direct the entry of a final judgment as to one or more but fewer than all of the claims or parties only upon an express determination that there is no just reason for delay and upon an express direction for the entry of judgment. In the absence of such determination and direction, any order or other form of decision, however designated, which adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties shall not terminate the action as to any of the claims or parties, and the order or other form of decision is subject to revision at any time before the entry of judgment adjudicating all the claims and the rights and liabilities of all the parties.
  3. Relief granted.
    1. A judgment by default shall not be different in kind from or exceed in amount that prayed for in the demand for judgment. Except as to a party against whom a judgment is entered by default, every final judgment shall grant the relief to which the party in whose favor it is rendered is entitled, even if the party has not demanded such relief in his pleadings; but the court shall not give the successful party relief, though he may be entitled to it, where the propriety of the relief was not litigated and the opposing party had no opportunity to assert defenses to such relief.
    2. As used in this subsection, the term "action for medical malpractice" means any claim for damages resulting from the death of or injury to any person arising out of:
      1. Health, medical, dental, or surgical service, diagnosis, prescription, treatment, or care rendered by a person authorized by law to perform such services or by any person acting under the supervision and control of a lawfully authorized person; or
      2. Care or service rendered by any public or private hospital, nursing home, clinic, hospital authority, facility, or institution, or by any officer, agent, or employee thereof acting within the scope of his employment.
    3. Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, where a claim in an action for medical malpractice does not exceed $10,000.00, a judgment by default shall not be different in kind from or exceed in amount that prayed for in the demand for judgment. Where the claim exceeds $10,000.00, a judgment by default may be rendered for the amount determined upon a trial of the issue of damages, provided notice of the trial is served upon the defaulting party at least three days prior to that trial.
  4. Costs. Except where express provision therefor is made in a statute, costs shall be allowed as a matter of course to the prevailing party unless the court otherwise directs; but costs against this state and its officers, agencies, and political subdivisions shall be imposed only to the extent permitted by the law.

(Ga. L. 1966, p. 609, § 54; Ga. L. 1976, p. 1047, § 2.)

Law reviews.

- For article discussing counterclaims and crossclaims under the Georgia Civil Practice Act, see 4 Ga. St. B.J. 205 (1967). For article discussing Georgia court decision on questions of appellate practice and procedure, see 31 Mercer L. Rev. 1 (1979). For article surveying Georgia cases in the area of trial practice and procedure from June 1979 through May 1980, see 32 Mercer L. Rev. 225 (1980). For annual survey of appellate practice and procedure, see 43 Mercer L. Rev. 73 (1991). For article, "Appeals, Interlocutory and Discretionary Applications, and Post-Judgment Motions in the Georgia Courts: The Current Practice and the Need for Reform Legislation," see 44 Mercer L. Rev. 17 (1992). For article, "Trial Practice and Procedure," see 53 Mercer L. Rev. 475 (2001). For survey article on zoning and land use law, see 59 Mercer L. Rev. 493 (2007). For annual survey on wills, trusts, guardianships, and fiduciary administration, see 71 Mercer L. Rev. 327 (2019). For note, "Default Judgments Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Georgia Civil Practice Act," see 7 Ga. St. B.J. 385 (1971). For note, "Conflicts of Interest in the Liability Insurance Setting," see 13 Ga. L. Rev. 973 (1979). For note, "Georgia's Approach to Proportionality and Sanctions for the Spoliation of Electronically Stored Information,” see 37 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 603 (2021).



  • General Consideration
  • Multiple Claims or Parties
  • Relief Granted
  • Costs


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 20 Am. Jur. 2d, Costs, § 10 et seq. 27A Am. Jur. 2d, Equity, § 197 et seq. 46 Am. Jur. 2d, Judgments, § 41 et seq.


- 4 C.J.S., Appeal and Error, §§ 86, 87. 35B C.J.S., Federal Civil Procedure, § 1113 et seq. 49 C.J.S., Judgments, § 1 et seq.


- Expense of litigation, other than taxable costs, as basis of separate action against party to former suit, 39 A.L.R. 1218.

Judgment in action for services of physician or surgeon as bar to action against him for malpractice, 49 A.L.R. 551.

What amounts to waiver by plaintiff of right to enter default judgment against defendant, or of the default itself after entry, 124 A.L.R. 155.

Power of court to award alimony or property settlement in divorce suit as affected by failure of pleading or notice to make a claim therefor, 152 A.L.R. 445.

Allowance of fees for guardian ad litem appointed for infant defendant, as costs, 30 A.L.R.2d 1148.

Liability of state, or its agency or board, for costs in civil action to which it is a party, 72 A.L.R.2d 1379.

Recovery on quantum meruit where only express contract is pleaded, under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8 and 54 and similar state statutes or rules, 84 A.L.R.2d 1077.

Taxable costs and disbursements as including expenses for bonds incident to steps taken in action, 90 A.L.R.2d 448.

Dismissal of plaintiff's action as entitling defendant to recover attorneys' fees or costs as "prevailing party" or "successful party,", 66 A.L.R.3d 1087.

Who is the "successful party" or "prevailing party" for purposes of awarding costs where both parties prevail or affirmative claims, 66 A.L.R.3d 1115.

What amounts to "appearance" under statute or rule requiring notice, to party who has "appeared," of intention to take default judgment, 73 A.L.R.3d 1250.

Medical malpractice: patient's failure to return, as directed, for examination or treatment as contributory negligence, 100 A.L.R.3d 723.

Modern status of state court rules governing entry of judgment on multiple claims, 80 A.L.R.4th 707.

Construction of state offer of judgment rule - Issues of time, 112 A.L.R.5th 47.

Modern status of Federal Civil Procedure Rule 54(b) governing entry of judgment or multiple claims, 89 A.L.R. Fed. 514.

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