BFV Perspectives, Commercial Real Estate, | Jun 18, 2024

Georgia House Bill 1203: A New Tool for Expedited Evictions

Georgia House Bill 1203, effective April 24, 2024, introduces a significant change for commercial landlords. This legislation allows landlords to hire off-duty sheriffs, constables, or marshals to execute writs of possession in dispossessory proceedings under certain circumstances.

Now, if the sheriff or marshal is unable to execute the writ of possession within 14 days from the landlord’s request, then the landlord may utilize the services of certain off-duty law enforcement officials. Essentially the bill authorizes private evictions when law enforcement officers are unable to conduct the eviction within a reasonable time frame.

Georgia House Bill 1203: Key Provisions

In reviewing the Bill, key provisions include:

  • Authorized Personnel: Off-duty law enforcement officers can now be employed to carry out eviction orders.
  • Expedited Process: The bill aims to streamline the eviction process, reducing the waiting time for landlords to regain possession of their properties.
Implications for Commercial Landlords

The passage of HB 1203 provides commercial landlords with a more efficient mechanism for handling evictions. For example, the ability to employ off-duty officers is expected to alleviate delays typically associated with scheduling on-duty officers for this task. This change is particularly beneficial in high-demand areas where eviction requests may otherwise face significant backlogs.

This past April, I obtained a writ of possession for a commercial landlord client in a metro-Atlanta county. I called the Sheriff’s office to schedule the eviction. The earliest date the Sheriff could provide was in September 2024 – nearly five months after I obtained the writ.

Practically speaking, that means the tenant can remain in the premises rent-free for months before the landlord has a remedy. HB 1203 aims to fix the eviction backlog and provide landlords with an alternative method to expedite evictions.


This legislative update can be seen as a win for commercial property owners who often face lengthy and costly eviction processes. By facilitating quicker evictions, landlords can more rapidly re-lease their properties, thereby minimizing income loss.

However, this process will take time to implement. From my experience in calling several metro-Atlanta county sheriff’s and marshal’s offices, many were unaware of the passage of the bill, or had not yet created lists of off-duty officers approved to conduct evictions.


Georgia House Bill 1203 represents a proactive step by the Georgia legislature to address the needs of commercial landlords. By enabling the use of off-duty officers for evictions, the bill seeks to balance efficiency with legal process. Landlords should stay informed on the implementation of this bill to fully leverage its benefits and navigate any accompanying challenges.

For more details on the bill, you can read the full text here.

If you are a commercial landlord and you need help navigating a dispute with a tenant, please reach out to me.

BFV Perspectives, Commercial Real Estate, | Jun 18, 2024
Katherine M. Silverman
Katherine M. Silverman

Katherine Silverman is a business litigator with a unique depth of experience in handling commercial real estate disputes.