This appeal concerns whether the appellee, who was the District Administrative Judge of the Fifth Judicial District, see OCGA § 15-5-4, and the Chief Judge of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit, see Ga. L. 1963, pp. 646-647 (hereinafter appellee will be referred to as "the judge") had the authority to issue the order that is the subject of this appeal. Without the benefit of an adversary proceeding, the judge interpreted the Open Records Act, OCGA §§ 50-18-70 to 50-18-75, as not permitting a private citizen to swear out an arrest warrant against a public official for a violation of the Act,1 and ordered all judicial officers and judges in the Fifth Judicial District, see OCGA § 15-5-2, and the Atlanta Judicial Circuit, see OCGA § 15-6-1 (3), to refrain from issuing any arrest warrant under OCGA § 50-18-74 to any individual except the Attorney General, District Attorney or Solicitor General acting in their official capacities. The appellant, Jack Jersawitz, filed an application for a writ of prohibition in the Superior Court of Fulton County, contending the judge did not have the authority or jurisdiction to enter the order. A judge from a different judicial circuit and district was assigned to hear Jersawitz' action. After a hearing, the trial court ruled that the judge had the power and jurisdiction to issue the order. We conclude, however, that the judge did not have jurisdiction to enter the order in question, and we reverse.
In issuing the order, the judge was interpreting the Open Records Act in a manner that would affect the substantive rights of potential litigants. For this reason, the order exceeds the scope of the judge's administrative powers as District Administrative Judge of the Fifth Judicial District, see OCGA § 15-5-5,2 and as Chief Judge of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit, see Ga. L. 1963, pp. 646-647, §§ 2 and 3.3 Moreover, we cannot agree with the judge that the order was a proper exercise of his power to issue orders in the nature of mandamus and prohibition. See Art. VI, Sec. I, Par. IV of the 1983 Georgia Constitution. To exercise such judicial power, the existence of an actual controversy was necessary. Bowers v. Bd. of Regents, 259 Ga. 221, 222 (378 S.E.2d 460) (1989); St. John's &c. Church v. Commr. of Revenue, 240 Ga. 733, 744 (1) (242 S.E.2d 108) (1978). See also Brooks v. Brooks, 256 Ga. 736, 737 (3) (353 S.E.2d 337) (1987). Fundamental to the existence of an actual controversy is the presence of adversarial parties. See St. Johns, supra, 240 Ga. at 734; Wright, Miller & Cooper, Federal Practice and Procedure: Jurisdiction 2d § 3530, p. 309 (1984). In the instant case, there were no adversarial parties and thus no actual controversy before the judge, and the order therefore is not a proper exercise of his power to issue orders in the nature of mandamus and prohibition.
Judgment reversed. Clarke, C. J., Weltner, P. J., Hunt, Benham and Fletcher, JJ., concur.