Step 3: Service of process
If the judge gives you a temporary ex parte order, you may have to bring it to the clerk’s office to have it filed. According to the Georgia Courts self-help manual, service may be done differently in different counties - you may need to take the order to the sheriff’s department and fill out a form so that the sheriff’s office can serve the papers on the abuser. If so, you will need to fill out information about the abuser’s address, workplace and work hours, Social Security number, and a physical description. Sometimes the petitioner fills out the form at the clerk’s office and the clerk will send this form and the respondent’s copy of the petition and the temporary ex parte order to the sheriff’s office for service on the respondent. You can ask the clerk which way service will be carried out in your county.
You can go to our GA Sheriff Departments page to find your nearest sheriff’s department. The abuser must be served with the papers and given notice of the court hearing.
You can find more information about service of process in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section, in the question called What is service of process and how do I accomplish it?