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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 Issues

Abandoned Motor Vehicles (AMV)

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A motor vehicle is abandoned if:
  1. It has been left by the owner or some person acting for the owner with an automobile, repairman or wrecker service for repairs or for some other reason and has not been called for by such owner or person within 30 days after the time agreed upon; or
    • when no time is agreed upon, or
    • within 30 days after the vehicle is turned over to such dealer, repairman, or wrecker service; or
    • within 30 days after the completion of the necessary repairs.
  2. It is left unattended on a public street, road, highway, or other public property for a period of at least 5 days and when it reasonably appears to a law enforcement officer that the individual who left such motor vehicle unattended does not intend to return to such motor vehicle
  3. It has been lawfully towed onto the property of another at the request of a law enforcement officer and left there for period of not less than 30 days without anyone having made claim to the vehicle
  4. It has been lawfully towed onto the property of another at the request of a property owner on whose property the vehicle was abandoned and left there for a period of not less than 30 days without the owner(s) having made claim to the vehicle
  5. It has been left unattended on private property for a period of not less than 30 days with anyone having made claim thereto
What Do I Do About an Abandoned Vehicle?
Print out and complete this form and return it to the Magistrate Court of DeKalb County (located at 556 N. McDonough Street, Decatur, GA 30030 view map) and the state will send a notice to the last address of record for the owner. If they don't respond within the specified time period, and the vehicle is on your property, you may be able to obtain a title through the DMV. You may find it helpful to print out and review the universal affidavit that identifies the documents that need to be attached to the affidavit for the lien and the timeframes that need to be complied with. Please see also the list of documents below that are required for seeking an AMV lien for a vehicle:

Additional Forms You May Need to Print and Complete: Associated Costs:
Abandoned Motor Vehicle Affidavit: $10.00

At the conclusion of the case, assuming that the Court grants the lien, you will receive a copy of the order and the ultimate purchaser will need a certified copy to obtain title from the Department of Motor Vehicles. The deputy clerk accepting the filing will likely give you the option of paying $5 for the certified order in advance.


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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
The Diversion Treatment Court of DeKalb County | 556 N. McDonough St. Room 1200D, DeKalb County Courthouse, DeKalb County Courthouse, Decatur, GA 30030 | Phone: 404-371-2241

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