Good Behavior Bonds
Notice Regarding COVID-19
Per Chief Magistrate Melinda Anderson: Due to COVID-19 safety related concerns, individuals seeking to file a Good Behavior Bond Application will need to call our office at 912-368-2063 to schedule an appointment to file their application(s).
At a Glance - Quick Definition & Information
A Good Behavior Bond is a temporary bond and acts like a restraining order; essentially it is a type of "stay away" order. For a Good Behavior Bond to issue, both parties must live in Liberty County, Georgia, the bond orders are only enforceable in the County of issue. The bond order expires within six months of the date of issue. A Good Behavior Bond may be extended upon written request 30 days prior to expiration of the original bond and only after a hearing to show beyond a reasonable doubt that an extension is needed.
There is a $20, non-refundable application fee; there is no filing fee for Domestic Violence Victims.
- Both parties must be residents of Liberty County, Georgia.
- It is helpful, but not necessary, to have copies of any police reports or other evidence pertaining to your issue(s).
- You must provide a valid physical and mailing address along with a date of birth for the defendant. A notice of hearing must be mailed out to both parties and in some cases must be personally served.
- An application and affidavit must be completed, and sworn testimony must be given to the Court.
- The issuance of a Good Behavior Bond requires that the sworn testimony given, by the plaintiff, pertaining to the conduct of a person within this county, justifies the belief that the safety, peace, or property of another person within this county is in danger of being injured or disturbed.
- A Magistrate will review the application and either approve or deny the application.
- If an application is approved a court date will be scheduled, and a notice of hearing will be mailed to both parties. At the Judge's discretion, the paperwork may be forwarded to the Liberty County Sheriff's Office to be personally served on the defendant. If the application is denied the plaintiff will be notified and no further action will be taken by the Court at that time.
- If the defendant receives notice by personal service the defendant will receive a copy of the Affidavit submitted by the plaintiff, an Order of Arrest, and an Appearance Bond Order, which will include the court date and special conditions of bond for the defendant to abide by pending their court date. In typical Good Behavior Bonds the special conditions will read that the defendant is to "stay away, absolutely, directly or indirectly, by person, telephone, and in writing, to include, fax, email, text messages, etc., from the person, home, job, place of worship, and school of (the plaintiff/affiant), subject to no exceptions, and no third party contact.
- The defendant, once personally served, is required to abide by the special conditions included in their Appearance Bond Order and is required to appear in court. If the defendant fails to appear in court a Bench Warrant for Failure to Appear may be issued for their arrest. If the plaintiff fails to appear their case may be dismissed.
- During the court hearing both parties will have the opportunity to offer testimony, present evidence, and call witnesses to testify on their behalf. The Judge will determine, after testimony and evidence is presented, whether an Order for a Good Behavior Bond needs to be issued on the Defendant. In some cases, the Judge may determine that an Order for a Good Behavior Bond also needs to be issued on the Plaintiff; these are called Cross Good Behavior Bonds. Depending on the individual circumstances of each case, warrant(s) may be issued on one or both of the parties as well.
- Good Behavior Bonds, once issued, are in effect for up to 6 months from the issue date.
- The conditions of bond apply to both parties. The defendant is required to comply with the Order of Good Behavior Bond, and the plaintiff is prohibited from causing the defendant to bring about a violation of the Good Behavior Bond. In gist, neither party is to have any contact with the other unless the Judge orders exceptions to the conditions.
- The plaintiff can request for the Bond to be extended up to 30 days before their Good Behavior Bond expires. After the request for an extension of the Bond is submitted, a hearing date may be set, if a hearing will set, both parties will be notified of the hearing. At the hearing date a Judge will consider all testimony and evidence presented and determine if the Bond should be extended. If granted the Bond can be extended for up to 6 months.
- If either party alleges the other violated the Good Behavior Bond they can file an Application for a Rule Nisi for Indirect Criminal Contempt in the Magistrate Court. After the paperwork is filed a hearing date may be set, at the Judges discretion. The alleged contemnor will be personally served and ordered to appear in court to show cause why they should not be found guilty of Indirect Criminal Contempt for violation of the Courts order. If the alleged contemnor is found guilty they can receive a fine and/or jail time.
- Domestic Violence Victims can choose to file a petition for a restraining order or a Temporary Protective Order which are filed through Superior Court in the Liberty County Clerk of Courts Office located at 201 South Main Street, Suite 1200 in Hinesville, Georgia. If a victim needs assistance with filling out and filing their petition they may contact the Tri-County Protective Agency at 912-368-9200, and ask to speak to Cynthia.
- If your situation is not dealing with Domestic Violence, the Superior Court also handles Stalking Protective Order, which are filed through the Clerk of Courts office as well.
Good Behavior Bonds are filed in the Magistrate Court located at:
Liberty County Justice Center
201 S Main Street
Suite 2100 (2nd Floor)
Hinesville, GA 31313
Good Behavior Bond Forms
Please refer to the Guidelines for Clerks (PDF) for understanding of what a clerk may or may not do to assist a party.
The information and forms available on this website are not intended as legal advice and should not be considered as such; they are provided for reference only. Consult an attorney for legal advice.