Court Opinions

Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
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.
Georgia Dep't of Corrections v. Grady Mem'l Hosp. Corp., A15A0549; A15A0550
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/16/2015, 9/1/2015)
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Sovereign Immunity
Sovereign immunity barred the hospital's action against the Georgia Department of Corrections seeking payment for medical care provided to a county jail inmate, because O.C.G.A. § 42-5-2 did not apply to waive the State's immunity, since the State did not have physical custody of the inmate when he was injured and taken to the hospital for treatment.
Smith v. State, A15A0327
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (7/16/2015, 9/1/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Robbery by Intimidation, Jury Charges, Conspiracy, Effective Assistance of Counsel
The jury could have inferred that the threatening notes the defendant handed the bank tellers coupled with his behavior constituted the requisite intimidation to induce the tellers to surrender the banks' cash to him to support his convictions on four counts of robbery by intimidation.
American Management Servs. E. LLC v. Fort Benning Family Communities LLC, A15A0125
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/15/2015, 8/31/2015)
CONTRACTS: Breach of Contract, Wrongful Termination, Fraud, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Unjust Enrichment, Implied Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing
The Court partially affirmed the trial court's summary judgment orders in a dispute over the termination of property management agreements related to military housing projects at Fort Benning, Georgia and Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
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