Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Loveless v. State of GA, A16A0479
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (5/27/2016, 7/26/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Forfeiture
The trial court did not err in striking the defendant's answer as legally insufficient and entering a default judgment of forfeiture in the State's civil in rem complaint to condemn two amounts of cash law enforcement officers had allegedly found in close proximity to methamphetamine and marijuana during a search of the defendant, his vehicle and a room in an extended stay hotel.
Franklin v. Eaves, A16A0616
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/3/2016, 7/26/2016)
EMPLOYMENT: Whistleblower
There were genuine issues of material fact remaining as to when the statute of limitations began to run in the plaintiff's suit under the Whistleblower Act; accordingly, the trial court erred in granting the defendant's motion for summary judgment based on expiration of the limitation period.
Brock v. C & M Motors Inc., A16A0481
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/3/2016, 7/26/2016)
CIVIL PRACTICE: Abatement, Renewal
The trial court erred in finding that the plaintiff's renewal action was subject to abatement under O.C.G.A. §§ 9-2-5 and 9-2-44, because the plaintiff was not prosecuting the same claims simultaneously, the first case did not produce any "recovery" for her and her claims in the first action were not still "pending."
Hobbs v. Great Expressions Dental Ctrs. of GA PC, A16A0368
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (5/27/2016, 7/26/2016)
TORTS: Fraud, Professional Malpractice
The trial court erred in dismissing the plaintiff's fraud claim against a dental center arising out of dental procedures he received there, because the plaintiff alleged that the dental center engaged in intentional misconduct, and it was therefore unnecessary to file an expert affidavit with his complaint.
State v. Dotson, A16A0266
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (6/3/2016, 7/26/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Manufacturing Marijuana, Firearms Offense, Search & Seizure
There was probable cause to support the search warrants that led to the defendants' indictment for manufacturing marijuana, other drug offenses and two firearms offenses, and the trial court therefore erred in granting the defendants' motion to suppress evidence police seized during the warrant searches.
Pass v. Forestar GA Real Estate Grp. Inc., A16A0243
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (5/27/2016, 7/25/2016)
REAL PROPERTY: Public Road, Abandonment, Easement
The trial court erred in granting summary judgment to the plaintiff in its suit to enjoin the defendant from blocking the plaintiff's access to a roadway that ran through the defendant's property, since questions of fact remained as to whether the roadway and the plaintiff's right of access had been abandoned.
Patch v. State, A16A0524
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (5/26/2016, 7/25/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Computer or Electronic Pornography, Child Exploitation, Identification
The evidence sufficiently supported the defendant's convictions for three counts of computer or electronic pornography and child exploitation arising after he engaged in sexually explicit online communications with a person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl, but was actually a detective.
Murphy v. Freeman, A16A0423
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (5/26/2016, 7/25/2016)
APPEALS: Court of Appeals Rules (Revised), Failure to Cite Authority, Enumerations of Error
The Court found that the glaring deficiencies in the appellant's appellate brief rendered her enumerations of error abandoned under Court of Appeals Rule 25 subsection (c) (2) and imposed a penalty on the appellant's counsel.
Cash v. State, A16A0269
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (5/27/2016, 7/25/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: DUI
The evidence did not support the defendant's conviction for DUI per se, because the State failed to tender the breath test results into evidence.
Bethea v. State, A16A0377
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (5/26/2016, 7/22/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Voluntary Manslaughter, Concealing Death of Another
The trial court did not abuse its discretion in excusing a juror and replacing her with an alternate after she indicated that she had reached an unwavering opinion fewer than two hours into the deliberations and that she no longer wanted to participate.
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