Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Georgia Association of Professional Process Servers, et al. v. Jackson, Sheriff, et al, S17A1079
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (10/16/2017, 11/10/2017)
CIVIL PRACTICE:
The trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to the sheriffs of seven counties on process servers' petition for mandamus because process servers failed to show that the sheriffs violated any clear legal duty by exercising their discretion under O.C.G.A.  9-11-4.1 to determine, as a threshold matter, whether certified process servers may act in their respective counties.
Cannon v. The State, S17A1127
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (10/16/2017, 11/10/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for felony murder and aggravated assault after he stabbed a man in the neck in a restaurant because he believed the man owed him money and defendant did not prove his ineffective assistance of counsel claims. 
In The Interest of A. F. et al., children, A17A1171
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/18/2017, 11/9/2017)
CIVIL PRACTICE:
The juvenile court erred in failing to hold a hearing on mother's motion for new trial in a termination of parental rights proceeding before denying the motion.
Glenn v. The State, S17A0858
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (10/16/2017, 11/9/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The Court affirmed defendant's murder conviction, finding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in permitting lay witnesses to give testimony identifying defendant as one of the people in a surveillance video recording of the murder and robbery and the trial court did not err in denying defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized during the search of his sisters apartment.
Miller v. The State, A17A0651
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (10/18/2017, 11/8/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
In defendant's DUI trial, the trial court admitted defendant's prior DUI conviction for proper purposes, including that such evidence tended to show her knowledge of the effects of alcohol consumption on her driving and knowledge about the use of testing to determine impairment, and the trial court was authorized to find that the probative value of the evidence was not substantially outweighed by its prejudicial impact, despite the age of the prior DUI conviction.
In The Interest of E. N., a child, A17A1040
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/17/2017, 11/8/2017)
FAMILY LAW:
The juvenile court lacked jurisdiction to rule on the issue of custody in dependency proceedings because the superior court had not transferred the motion for return of custody to the juvenile court so the Court vacated the juvenile court's denial of the motion. 
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.
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