Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Jordan v. Everson et al, S17G1491
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (10/16/2017, 11/8/2017)
HEALTH LAW:
The Court of Appeals erred in holding that an independent, intervening act breaks the chain of causation in a wrongful death case only to the extent that the independent, intervening act is wrongful or negligent; rather, the act only has to be reasonably foreseeable by the alleged tortfeasor or triggered by his conduct.
Kammerer Real Estate Holdings, LLC v. Forsyth County Board of Commissioners et al., S17A0924
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (10/16/2017, 11/8/2017)
CIVIL PRACTICE:
The trial court erred in dismissing some of plaintiff's claims against a county, a board of commissioners and the director of the county's Department of Planning and Community Development in connection with the director's refusal to issue a site development permit to plaintiff so that it could construct an automotive service facility on its lot.
Olsen v. The State, S17A1014
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (10/16/2017, 11/7/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The trial court properly denied defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment against him for felony murder and other charges because the presence of non-lawyer and lawyer spectators during the presentation of evidence to the grand jury did not violate the recognized need for grand jury secrecy or compromise the grand jurys independence from outside influence and defendant failed to show that he was prejudiced by the presence of those individuals.
Patton v. Vanterpool, S17A0767
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (10/16/2017, 11/7/2017)
FAMILY LAW:
The Court reversed the grant of summary judgment to mother on the issue of paternity in a divorce action, finding that O.C.G.A.  19-7-21, which creates an irrebuttable presumption of legitimacy with respect to children conceived by means of artificial insemination does not extend to children conceived by in-vitro fertilization treatment.
Olevik v. The State, S17A0738
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (10/16/2017, 11/7/2017)
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW:
The Georgia Constitution's protection against compelled self-incrimination prohibits law enforcement from compelling a person suspected of DUI to blow their deep lung air into a breathalyzer.
Salazar-Balderas v. The State, A17A0819
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (10/18/2017, 11/7/2017)
APPEALS:
The trial court erred in refusing to give defendant's requested charge on defense of habitation in his trial on charges of serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving, failure to stop at or return to the scene of an accident, following too closely and driving without a license, and the Court, therefore, reversed his convictions.
Piccione et al. v. Arp et al, S17A0782
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (10/16/2017, 11/6/2017)
TRUSTS AND ESTATES:
The trial court properly denied plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment in their action arising out of the distribution of their grandmother's estate, because the will imposed a requirement that the individuals named take the bequests in their own stead, that those bequests not pass through representation, and that the named individuals must survive the testator; accordingly, plaintiffs were not entitled to receive their late mother's interest in the estate. 
Wimberly v. The State, S17A1108
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (10/16/2017, 11/6/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony after he shot and killed his daughter's boyfriend's brother during a family dispute. 
White v. The State, S17A1083
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (10/16/2017, 11/6/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The trial court properly dismissed defendant's pro se motions to withdraw his guilty pleas to felony murder and other crimes because he was represented by counsel when he filed the motions and the filings were therefore legal nullities.
Shelley v. Town of Tyrone, S17A1064
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (10/16/2017, 11/6/2017)
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW:
The trial court properly granted town's motion for partial summary judgment on plaintiff's declaratory judgment and inverse condemnation claims in connection with certain zoning ordinances because plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies before seeking relief in the trial court and his as-applied challenges to the zoning ordinances were thus not ripe for judicial review.
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