Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Federal National Mortgage Association v. Harris, A17A0694
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/24/2017, 11/17/2017)
EVIDENCE:
In a dispute over possession of certain real property, the trial court abused its discretion when it failed to consider whether certain documents were admissible under O.C.G.A.  24-9-901, which sets out the standards for the authentication and admission of unsealed or uncertified documents.
Kelly v. Fann, A17A1328
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/24/2017, 11/16/2017)
CIVIL PRACTICE:
The trial court properly granted defendant's motion for summary judgment in plaintiff's personal injury suit alleging that defendant failed to keep a proper lookout for potential hazards when she hit a loose bull in the highway and then hit plaintiff's vehicle, because there was no evidence of how the collision with the bull occurred so there was no evidence of anything defendant could have done to avoid the collision.
Summit At Scarborough Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Williams, A17A1289
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/24/2017, 11/16/2017)
CONTRACTS:
The trial court erred in denying homeowners association's motion for court costs and attorney fees after it obtained a judgment against a homeowner for unpaid annual assessments, because a provision of the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions and Easements for the subdivision stated that the association was entitled to such costs and fees and the homeowner cited no statute that prohibited such recovery.
Whitmire v. The State, A17A0951
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (10/23/2017, 11/16/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The Court vacated the denial of defendant's motion for new trial following his armed robbery conviction in connection with a bank hold-up because the trial judge failed to exercise discretion to sit as a thirteenth juror with respect to the general grounds raised.
Mathis v. The State, A17A0858
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (10/19/2017, 11/16/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
Although the trial court's jury charge did not constitute reversible error, the trial court did not err in failing to merge certain of defendant's convictions on a 52-count indictment.
Hood v. The State, A17A1147
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (10/19/2017, 11/15/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The trial court erred in denying defendant's second motion for out-of-time appeal, to the extent it held that defendant was not entitled to file a direct appeal from the denial of his motion to vacate void sentence, because defendant raised a colorable claim that his sentence was void and, thus, he was entitled to file a direct appeal from the denial of his motion to vacate void sentence.
City of Macon et al. v. Brown, A17A1066
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/20/2017, 11/15/2017)
MOTOR VEHICLES:
The trial court erred in denying defendants' motion for summary judgment in plaintiff's suit alleging that defendants were liable for damages for failing to maintain a public roadway that caused a collision because plaintiff's evidence was insufficient as a matter of law to create a genuine issue of fact as to whether defendants had constructive notice of the alleged defect.
McAllister v. The State, A17A1026
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (10/19/2017, 11/15/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for aggravated stalking and criminal trespass after he broke into his former girlfriend's home, kissed her and crawled into her bed.
McDonald v. Silver Hill Homes, LLC, A17A0648
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/18/2017, 11/15/2017)
CIVIL PRACTICE:
The trial court erred in granting summary judgment to defendant on plaintiff's claims for punitive damages and attorney fees in a boundary line dispute because genuine issues of material fact remained.
May v. Morgan County, A16A1981
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (11/20/2017, 11/15/2017)
LAND USE PLANNING:
The Court vacated the trial court's judgment finding defendant in violation of a zoning ordinance by offering her lake home for short-term rentals because the trial court failed to address defendant's alternative argument that a prior zoning ordinance was unconstitutionally vague.
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