Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Coates v. State, A17A1098
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (6/15/2017, 7/7/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The trial court properly declined to merge defendant's four convictions for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon for purposes of sentencing because, contrary to defendant's contention, O.C.G.A. § 16-11-131 subsection (b) was not ambiguous and clearly imposed a separate punishment for each individual firearm possessed, rather than one punishment for being armed regardless of the number of firearms, and the trial court thus properly punished defendant for his possession of four different firearms. 
Dekalb County v. Speir et al., A17A1292
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/15/2017, 7/6/2017)
REAL PROPERTY:
The trial court properly denied County's motion in limine seeking to exclude evidence of post-taking business losses in a condemnation action because business offered testimony that the condemned property, with its particular location and multiple access points, was unique and business connected its obligation to continue making rent payments under its lease to the market value of its business just after the taking, bringing the evidence within the ambit of business loss. 
Bellsouth Telecommunications LLC d/b/a AT&T Georgia et al. v. Cobb County, Georgia et al., A17A0265
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/15/2017, 7/6/2017)
COMMUNICATIONS:
Although the trial court erred in finding that the Georgia Emergency Telephone Number 9-1-1 Service Act of 1977 provided an implied right of action to counties for telephone companies' alleged failure to collect the proper amount of fees from customers under the statute, counties may pursue their claims against telephone companies for the alleged failure or refusal to collect the 9-1-1 charges pursuant to O.C.G.A. §§ 51-1-6 and 51-1-8.
Doby et al. v. Bivins, A17A0554
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/14/2017, 7/6/2017)
TORTS:
The Court of Appeals partially reversed the grant of summary judgment to defendant in plaintiff's tort suit arising out of an automobile collision in which the other driver left the scene without providing insurance information. 
Eichenblatt v. Piedmont/Maple, LLC et al., A17A1205
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/14/2017, 7/6/2017)
BUSINESS LAW:
The trial court erred in granting partial summary judgment to plaintiffs on defendant's counterclaims in a dispute concerning the dissolution of a real estate investment company because res judicata did not block the claims and defendant provided some evidence to support the claims. 
Leslie v. The State, A17A0068
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (6/14/2017, 7/5/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for three counts of cruelty to a child in the second degree and two counts of false imprisonment arising after he locked his 7-year-old son in a wooden box to punish him for misbehaving. and, on other occasions, put the boy in a sleeping bag and tied ropes around it to keep him inside.
The State v. Dorsey, A17A0108
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (6/14/2017, 7/5/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The trial court erred in granting defendant's motion to quash the indictment against him arising from incidents that took place during his employment as a sheriff's deputy because he had no rights under O.C.G.A. §§ 17-7-52 and 45-11-4 to be present and to make a sworn statement when the case was presented to the grand jury, since he was not performing his official duties when he allegedly engaged in acts of restraining women against their will, groping their breasts and buttocks and exposing his genitalia.
Schroeder v. Dekalb County, Georgia et al., A17A0551
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/14/2017, 7/5/2017)
CIVIL PRACTICE:
The trial court erred in dismissing plaintiff's state law claims against defendants in their individual capacities on the ground of official immunity, because plaintiff alleged the negligent performance of ministerial acts.
Walker v. The State, A17A0437
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (6/14/2017, 7/5/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The direct and circumstantial evidence was sufficient for the jury to find beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant committed the offenses of rape and false imprisonment in Fulton County, as alleged in the indictment.
Educap, Inc. v. Haggard, A17A0149
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/13/2017, 7/3/2017)
CONTRACTS:
The trial court erred in granting defendant's motion for summary judgment on her cross-claim for fraudulent misrepresentation in a financial aid company's lawsuit alleging that she was indebted to it on a student loan contract, because she failed to affirmatively establish that this was a plain and undisputable case appropriate for determination as a matter of law.
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