Atlanta, June 20, 2011 – The Supreme Court of Georgia announced today that effective July 1, 2011, it will incorporate into its official rules the “pilot project” for domestic relations cases.

Under the pilot project, which began by court order Jan. 6, 2003, the Supreme Court has reviewed challenges to final divorce decrees under a more lenient standard than other discretionary applications. The purpose of the project was to develop a more complete body of domestic relations case law, and the project has been repeatedly renewed since its creation. The most recent renewal extended the project to June 30, 2011.

The Court has decided that it no longer makes sense to treat its approach to these divorce cases as a “pilot project” and to continue extending the project on a temporary basis. With today’s change, the Court intends to make the project part of its normal business. It has revised Rule 34 of the “Rules of the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia,” which addresses the standard for granting applications to appeal. A new subsection (4) to this rule adds the standard for granting applications to appeal final divorce decrees. The Court has also revised Rule 54 to reflect the time allotted to oral argument in such cases. No substantive change in how the Court deals with these cases is intended.

A copy of today’s order is available by clicking here.

A copy of the Rule 34 (4) certificate of good faith is available by clicking here.