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The Magistrate Court of DeKalb County, Georgia

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  556 N. McDonough Street, DeKalb County Courthouse
Decatur, GA 30030-3356
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DeKalb County Magistrate Court Civil Issues

Civil Matters

Garnishments: What is a Fi Fa and do I need one to file a garnishment?

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A Writ of Fieri Facias or "Fi Fa" is a document that is issued by the Clerk's Office for the purpose of recording a lien on the judgment debtor's property. The Fi Fa is recorded on the general execution docket of the Superior Court of DeKalb Count. It is also the legal instrument by which the sheriff of a county may seize the assets of a judgment debtor. If the case was contested, then a Writ of Fi Fa may not be issued until 10 days after the date of judgment.

The law does not require a Fi Fa for filing a garnishment action. However, it becomes important to have a Fi Fa if the defendant files a traverse to challenge the judgment. The Fi Fa is often used by judges to determine the amount that is owed on a judgment. The Fi Fa would reflect pre-judgment interest if due, any costs or attorney fees awarded and the principal amount.

Additionally, if some money has been paid on a judgment, a writ of Fi Fa would reflect that. Essentially, it is a useful evidentiary tool if there is a dispute about the amount due to the plaintiff in garnishment.

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The Magistrate Court of DeKalb County, Georgia | 556 N. McDonough Street, Suite 270, DeKalb County Courthouse, Decatur, GA 30030-3356 | Phone: 404-371-2261
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