Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Croy v. Whitfield County, s16g1452
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/19/2017, 7/18/2017)
GOVERNMENT:
A presentment of a claim against a county under O.C.G.A. § 36-11-1 may be submitted to the governing authority by way of the county attorney as a matter of law, regardless of whether the attorney is an inside or outside county attorney; accordingly, the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to county after finding that plaintiff failed to comply with the statutory requirements for presentment in his negligence action arising after he was injured while riding a county-operated bus.
Davis v. The State, S17A0176
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/19/2017, 7/17/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The Court affirmed defendant's convictions for two counts of felony murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony but vacated his sentence and remanded for resentencing, as the trial court erred in sentencing defendant on both felony murder counts because they involved the same victim. 
Sexual Offender Registration Review Board v. Berzett, s17a0082
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/19/2017, 7/17/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over convicted sexual offender's petition for declaratory relief alleging that O.C.G.A. § 42-1-14, which set forth a procedure for the classification of sexual offenders according to their recidivism risks and required any "sexually dangerous predator" to wear and pay for an electronic GPS monitor for the rest of his life, was unconstitutional, because no actual controversy existed between Sexual Offender Registration Review Board and the petitioner after the Board classified him as a sexually dangerous predator, the trial court affirmed that classification and petitioner did not appeal that ruling.
Gomez v. The State, s17a0265
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/19/2017, 7/17/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The Court partially affirmed defendants' convictions for felony murder and other crimes related to injuries to and the resulting death of their 3-year-old daughter but partially vacated their convictions to correct sentencing errors. 
Waye v. The State, s17a0310
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/19/2017, 7/17/2017)
APPEALS:
The trial court properly denied defendant's amended motion for out-of-time appeal from his conviction and sentence on his plea of guilty to malice murder.
Bailey v. The State, s17a0364
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/19/2017, 7/17/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported the jury's verdict finding defendant guilty but mentally ill on all 13 counts of an indictment filed in connection with the stabbing deaths of his neighbors and the trial court did not err in declining to give a jury charge on voluntary manslaughter because there was no evidence to support such a charge.
Heatherly v. The State, s16g1498
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/19/2017, 7/14/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
Although defendant was initially charged with felony theft by taking, the factfinder was empowered to determine that the value of the property taken was less than the felony value and to convict defendant of a misdemeanor; because defendant was convicted of a misdemeanor, not a felony, State was not required to provide corroborating evidence for an accomplice's trial testimony.
Lathrop et al. v. Deal et al., S17A0196
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/19/2017, 7/14/2017)
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW:
The doctrine of sovereign immunity barred plaintiff-physicians' petition against state officers in their official capacities for declaratory and injunctive relief from official acts that plaintiffs alleged to be unconstitutional and the trial court properly dismissed the suit. 
Green Bull Georgia Partners, LLC et al. v. Register et al., s17a0327
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/19/2017, 7/14/2017)
EQUITY:
The trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting plaintiffs' request for an injunction pending appeal under O.C.G.A. § 9-11-62 subsection (c), notwithstanding its determination that an interlocutory injunction pending final judgment was not appropriate. 
Walker v. The State, s17a0385
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/19/2017, 7/14/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for malice murder and other crimes arising after he shot a man with whom he was having a legal dispute over the purchase of a vehicle. 
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