A minor child is considered to be abandoned if during a consecutive 30-day period, its father or mother does not furnish sufficient food, clothing, or shelter for the needs of the child, leaving the child in a dependent condition. An application for a Child Abandonment Warrant will be scheduled for a probable cause hearing to determine if the minor child has been abandoned.
All persons applying for a misdemeanor arrest warrant for Criminal Abandonment of a Child will be required to provide a case number for an open child support case filed with the Georgia Department of Human Services before the warrant application will be scheduled for a hearing by a judge. You may contact the Department of Human Services at:
Department of Human Services
2910 Miller Road, Suite 100
Decatur, GA 30035-4037
Abandonment warrants are handled in the county where the minor child currently resides.
To apply for an Abandonment Warrant in DeKalb County, click on the abandonment warrant application and follow the attached instructions. After completing your application online, email your application to the clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will then be able to speak with a judge virtually about your application.
You can also complete the application in-person at the Criminal Division of the DeKalb County Magistrate Court. The Criminal Division is located at 3630 Camp Circle Decatur, GA 30032. Remember, you must have a case number that corresponds to an open child support case when you apply.
You must have the first and last name, complete date of birth, and current address for the person you allege abandoned your child. If you do not have all of this information, the Court may not be able to proceed with your application.
After you have completed your application, a judge will review your application and speak with you under oath. If the judge finds cause, the matter will be set for a hearing. The court clerk will prepare a court notice and provide copies to the applicant and accused. An essential aspect of this procedure is the duty of the Court to ensure that the accused has legal notice of this hearing as stated in Georgia law. If the Court finds that there is insufficient address information or that mailed notice was returned as undeliverable, the hearing will be reset for due process upon the accused. Therefore, it is essential for applicants to provide current information regarding accused individuals.
A judge will determine whether probable cause exists to issue a criminal arrest warrant after hearing. Either party may be represented by counsel. However, parties are not required to have an attorney. The Magistrate Court does not collect money and cannot order child support.
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