Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Barnes v. Roseburg Forest Prods. Co., A15A0405
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/16/2015, 9/4/2015)
WORKERS COMPENSATION: Total Disability Benefits, Change in Condition, New Injury
The workers' compensation claimant, who had suffered a catastrophic injury but had returned to work, was entitled to assert a claim for reinstatement of benefits after he experienced a change in condition, even though that change occurred more than two years after he received his last benefit payment.
Fulton County Bd. of Tax Assessors v. Piedmont Park Conservancy, A15A0356
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/16/2015, 9/4/2015)
TAXATION: Purely Public Charity Exemption, Ad Valorem
The park conservancy was entitled to a proportional tax exemption as to a building the conservancy owned but that was occupied in part by lessees operating two restaurants.
Fuciarelli v. McKinney, A15A0223
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/16/2015, 9/4/2015)
CIVIL PRACTICE: Dismissal
The trial court erred in dismissing the plaintiff's claims under the Georgia Taxpayer Protection and False Claims Act against government defendants in their individual capacities based on the plaintiff's failure to obtain the Attorney General's approval prior to bringing suit, because O.C.G.A. § 23-3-122 subsection (l) creates a cause of action that is personal to the plaintiff and not subject to the notice requirement in § 23-3-122 subsection (b).
Howerton v. Harbin Clinic LLC, A15A0141
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/16/2015, 9/3/2015)
TORTS: Tortious Interference with Contractual Relations, Emotional Distress, Negligent Supervision
The trial court erred in granting summary judgment to a doctor on a surgical technician's claims for tortious interference with her employment contract and intentional infliction of emotional distress after the doctor allegedly sexually harassed and inappropriately touched her and then made statements to her supervisor that resulted in the termination of her employment.
Seki v. Groupon Inc., A15A0586
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/16/2015, 9/3/2015)
TORTS: Tortious Interference with Contractual Relations, Invasion of Privacy
The sole proprietor of a hot air balloon ride business was not precluded from pursuing a claim for invasion of privacy through misappropriation based solely on the fact that the subject of the alleged appropriation was a trade name.
Gillespie v. State, A15A0146; A15A0149
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (7/16/2015, 9/3/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Armed Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Battery, Right to Be Present at Trial
The defendants had a constitutional right to be present at bench conferences during jury selection at which several potential jurors were discussed and excused and one potential juror was questioned and discussed.
Jackson v. Sanders, A15A0127
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/16/2015, 9/2/2015)
FAMILY LAW: Child Custody, Child Support, Modification
The parties' agreement that the father would pay an equivalent amount of his child support payment directly to their child's private school for tuition as an alternative to paying the mother directly was not a modification of the amount of the father's child support obligation without a court order, and the trial court thus erred in finding that the father owed the mother past due child support for those payments.
Marks v. Flowers Cross Community Ass'n Inc., A15A0334
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/15/2015, 9/2/2015)
REAL PROPERTY: Restrictive Covenants, Homeowners' Association Assessments
The defendants were entitled to a new trial after a homeowners' association was awarded damages for violations of certain restrictive covenants, recovery of past due homeowners' association assessments and attorney fees, because some of the association's claims were time-barred and there was no way to tell from the jury's general verdict form whether the award was for the time-barred claims or the other claims.
Green Tree Servicing LLC v. Jones, A14A2001
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/16/2015, 9/2/2015)
ADR: Arbitration, Federal Arbitration Act
Entry of an order confirming an arbitration award on the same day the plaintiffs filed their application to confirm the award and served it by mail on the defendant's attorney deprived the defendant of notice and an opportunity to respond to the application to raise objections to confirmation.
Qenkor Constr. Inc. v. Everett, A15A0598
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/15/2015, 9/1/2015)
TORTS: Conversion, Immunity
A jury question remained as to whether the sheriff acted with actual malice in allegedly converting the plaintiff's money that was seized during a warrantless search of a car and purse, and the trial court thus erred in finding that qualified immunity applied and barred the plaintiff's conversion claim.
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