Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
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.
Stewart v. Brown, A17A1142
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/17/2017, 11/6/2017)
CIVIL PRACTICE:
The trial court erred in granting summary judgment to defendant in plaintiff's slip and fall suit because genuine issues of material fact remained regarding defendant's knowledge of the hazard and plaintiff's lack of such knowledge. 
St. Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta, Inc. v. Gardner Sewell Hall et al., A17A0824
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/17/2017, 11/3/2017)
TORTS:
The trial court erred in denying hospital's motion to dismiss plaintiff's slip and fall suit arising after he fell on black ice in the parking lot, because there were no questions of fact remaining as to whether the hospital had superior knowledge of the patch of black ice on which plaintiff fell or whether its remedial efforts to clear the parking deck of snow and ice contributed to the icy conditions.
Simmons v. Prince et al., A17A0899
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/17/2017, 11/3/2017)
TORTS:
The trial court erred in denying defendant's motion for summary judgment in plaintiff's suit to recover damages for injuries he suffered when he fell through the balusters of a railing that surrounded the front landing of a second-floor apartment because the large gaps between the railing balusters was a static defect of which the plaintiff had equal knowledge.
Jones v. The State, A17A1053
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (10/17/2017, 11/3/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for rape, aggravated child molestation, and incest for acts he committed against his niece, and the trial court was not required to conduct a competency hearing because defendant did not engage in any irrational behavior prior to the start of the trial, his demeanor did not exhibit incompetence, his attorney stated he was competent and there was no evidence of a prior medical opinion that his previous mental health diagnoses rendered him incompetent to stand trial. 
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