Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
State v. Wallace, A16A0891
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (9/15/2016, 9/27/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Venue, Marijuana Possession with Intent to Distribute, Traffic Offenses, Search & Seizure
The trial court erred in granting the defendant's motion to suppress on the basis that the State failed to establish venue at the pretrial suppression hearing, because the State was not required to establish venue at that stage, as venue was not relevant to the issues the defendant raised in his written motion to suppress.
Morris v. State, A16A1222
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (9/14/2016, 9/27/2016)
APPEALS: Out-of-Time Appeal, Right to Appeal
The trial court abused its discretion in denying the defendant's motion for out-of-time appeal, because the defendant's trial counsel provided ineffective assistance, resulting in the loss of the defendant's right to appellate review of his conviction.
Rowell v. Phoebe Putney Mem'l Hosp. Inc., A16A1304
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (9/14/2016, 9/27/2016)
TORTS: Tortious Interference with Contractual Relations, Violation of Bylaws
The defendant hospital and vice president of medical affairs were entitled to summary judgment on the plaintiff's claims for tortious interference with her existing contractual relationship and violation of the hospital bylaws.
Newby v. State, A16A1000
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (9/12/2016, 9/27/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Theft by Taking, Aggravated Assault, Effective Assistance of Counsel
The evidence sufficiently supported the defendant's convictions for aggravated assault and theft by taking after he took the victim's motorcycle from a carport and then drove it at the victim when the victim confronted him about the theft.
Devlin v. Devlin, A16A0913
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (9/14/2016, 9/27/2016)
FAMILY LAW: Grandparents' Visitation Rights
The trial court did not abuse its discretion in not permitting the grandmother to appear via telephone for a mediation and a final evidentiary hearing on the issue of grandparent visitation.
Lend A Hand Charity Inc. v. The Ford Plantation Club Inc., A16A0826
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (9/14/2016, 9/27/2016)
CONTRACTS: Breach of Contract, Interest
The homeowners' association's declaration providing that interest on past due assessments could be collected at the maximum legal rate did not provide a definite rate, and the trial court erred in awarding the association interest at a rate of 18 percent, rather than the seven percent per year rate mandated by O.C.G.A. § 7-4-2 subsection (a) (1) (A).
DuBose v. State, S16A1299; S16A1300
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (9/12/2016, 9/26/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Aggravated Assault, Firearms Offense, Sentencing, Merger, Jury Charges
The modified merger rule, which holds that, when a defendant is found guilty of voluntary manslaughter, he cannot also be convicted of felony murder based on the same underlying acts, was inapplicable, because the felony murder for which the defendant was sentenced was predicated on the unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and the trial court properly sentenced him for felony murder.
Robinson v. State, S16A1274
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (9/12/2016, 9/26/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Firearms Offense, Effective Assistance of Counsel
The evidence supported the defendant's convictions for malice murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after he shot and killed a man who had hit him with a brick, as the evidence showed there was "an interval between the provocation and the killing sufficient for the voice of reason and humanity to be heard."
Ellis v. State, S16A1251
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (9/12/2016, 9/26/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Armed Robbery, Statement, Miranda Rights
The trial court did not err in admitting the defendant's statement to police into evidence, even though officers did not specifically re-read the defendant his Miranda rights after he had waived them in a prior interview, because the defendant was properly informed of his Miranda rights in the previous interview, reminded of those rights prior to speaking with law enforcement and freely and voluntarily agreed to waive them thereafter.
Dallow v. Dallow, S16A1210
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (9/12/2016, 9/26/2016)
FAMILY LAW: Visitation Rights, Modification
There was some evidence to support the trial court's decision modifying the father's visitation rights to require him to arrange visitation with the17-year-old child at times that were mutually agreeable.
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