Court Information

PROBATE COURT DURING THE PUBLIC HEALTH STATE OF EMERGENCY

  • The Court will strictly enforce social distancing and a mask covering your mouth and nose is required.
  • The office will be closed from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. to allow for cleaning of the lobby and other public spaces.
  • Only one person will be allowed in the lobby at a time. Except for court appearances, visitors to the Probate Court should not bring anyone else with them unless he or she needs physical assistance or an interpreter.  
  • The Court strongly encourages payment by money orders or credit/debit cards which carry a processing fee. The Court will continue its practice of accepting checks in limited estate matters. 
  • Self-represented litigants and attorneys are strongly encouraged to file petitions, motions, etc. by mail unless the matter is of an emergent nature, e.g. Emergency Petition for Adult Guardianship. There will be a drop box for those who wish to file in person.
  • Firearms permits and marriage licenses will be issued BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Please call the office at (770) 784-2045 to schedule an appointment. The firearms application can be found below.
  • Requests for vital records, i.e. birth, death, and marriage certificates, should be made through the mail, the Court website or by emailing the Court at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About the Court

Georgia Probate Courts exercise exclusive, original jurisdiction in the probate of wills, administration of estates, appointment of guardians and conservators (minor and adult), and involuntary commitment. In January 2017 the Probate Court of Newton County became an Article 6 Probate Court. Article 6 Courts have expanded probate jurisdiction. In accordance with OCGA § 15-9-127, Article 6 Probate Courts have concurrent jurisdiction with superior courts in proceedings regarding: 9 (A) Declaratory judgments; (B) Tax-motivated estate planning dispositions of wards' property; (C) Approval of settlement agreements; (D) Appointment of new trustees; (E) Acceptance of resignation of a trustee at beneficiaries' written request; (F) Acceptance of resignation of trustee upon petition of trustee; (G) Motions for DNA testing; (H) Conversion to a unitrust; and (I) Adjudication of petition for direction or construction of a will.

Melanie M. Bell, Probate Judge of Newton County, and her staff also administer oaths of office, issue marriage licenses and weapons carry licenses, and provide certified copies of birth and death certificates. Unless a jury trial is requested, Judge Bell hears certain misdemeanors, traffic cases, and violations of state game and fish laws.