Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Islamkhan v. Khan, S16A0105
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/20/2016, 6/24/2016)
FAMILY LAW: Divorce
Because the husband's failure to follow the interlocutory appeal procedures rendered his notice of appeal nugatory, his notice of appeal was not a supersedeas and did not deprive the trial court of jurisdiction to consider his motion for reconsideration of the divorce decree or from entering its order modifying that order; accordingly, the trial court properly denied the wife's motion to vacate void judgment.
Durden v. State, S16A0539
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/20/2016, 6/24/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Motion to Quash, Grand Jury, Indictment, Murder
A grand jury properly summoned, sworn and charged to serve during a particular term of the court may recess and reconvene as it sees fit to conduct its business in the course of that term and need not be re-sworn or recharged by the court during that term.
Marchman v. State, S16A0027; S16A0028
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/20/2016, 6/24/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Kidnapping with Bodily Injury, Aggravated Assault, Armed Robbery, Party to Crime, Jury Recharges, Identification
The evidence was sufficient to exclude every reasonable hypothesis save that of guilt and to warrant the defendants' convictions, either as a perpetrator who directly committed the crimes or as a party to the crimes, in connection with a crime spree that resulted in the deaths of two victims.
Zilke v. State, S15G1820
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/20/2016, 6/24/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: DUI, Traffic Offenses, Arrest
The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals' decision in a matter of first impression and found that a campus police officer had no authority to effect a custodial arrest of the defendant outside the territorial limits prescribed for campus police officers in O.C.G.A. § 20-3-72.
Hayward v. Danforth, S16A0419
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/20/2016, 6/23/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Probation Revocation, Habeas Corpus
The habeas court erred in finding that the trial court's revocation of the defendant's parole was not a violation of the doctrine of separation of powers.
Starling v. State, S16A0440
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/20/2016, 6/23/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Aggravated Assault, Cruelty to Children, Effective Assistance of Counsel, Statement
The defendant failed to prove his ineffective assistance of counsel claims following his convictions for murder, aggravated assault, third degree child cruelty and related offenses in connection with the shooting death of his long-time girlfriend at her home in the presence of several of her family members.
Allaben v. State, S16A0166
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/20/2016, 6/23/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Intent, Jury Charges, Lesser Included Offense
Although the evidence supported the defendant's conviction for malice murder in connection with the strangling death of his wife, the trial court reversibly erred in excluding certain evidence that was admissible under the rule of completeness.
Walker v. State, S16A0152
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/20/2016, 6/23/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Firearms Offense, Effective Assistance of Counsel
The defendant failed to prove his failure-to-consult ineffective assistance of counsel claim.
Pearce v. Tucker, S15G1310
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/20/2016, 6/23/2016)
TORTS: Wrongful Death, Qualified Immunity
The Court of Appeals' decision reversing the denial of summary judgment to a police officer in a wrongful death suit arising from a detainee's suicide in his holding cell was correct under the right-for-any-reason rule.
Hickman v. State, S16A0524
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/20/2016, 6/22/2016)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Attempted Rape, Joinder, Statement
The trial court did not err in admitting into evidence pursuant to the doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing the victim's diary entries, in which she stated three months before she was murdered that the defendant and another man attempted to rape her, as there was evidence supporting the trial court's determination that the defendant killed the victim to make her unavailable as a witness.
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