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Legal Database

About
The Legal Database is a compilation of state and federal court cases, as well as Federal administrative rulings and Georgia Attorney General opinions. The cases, rulings and opinions cited impact, or have the potential to impact, the operation of Georgia's municipal governments.

The contents of GMA's quarterly publication, "Legal Briefs", are archived in this database.
CONTACT
For questions regarding the legal database, please contact Senior Associate General Counsel Rusi Patel at 678-686-6210.
DISCLAIMER
The write-ups contained in this database are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. Consult with your city attorney to obtain legal advice about a proposed course of action.
Case Name
Court
Summary
Decision Date
Georgia Court of Appeals
The Court of Appeals of Georgia held that the Georgia Zoning Procedures Law provided for procedures to address alleged issues with the adoption of a new zoning code, including affording the general public due process. Plaintiffs were citizens and taxpayers of the City of Roswell, owning ...
Dec 27, 2017
Georgia Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Georgia held that when a landowner claims a city has caused harm through a particular zoning classification, inverse condemnation is not an available remedy for the landowner unless he or she can meet the separate requirements for such inverse condemnation claim ...
Nov 2, 2017
Georgia Supreme Court
The Georgia Supreme Court held that an open records requestor was not required to show that a government agency was involved with certain transactions in order to be entitled to compliance with the open records request. Northside Hospital was created when a government agency entered into a ...
Nov 2, 2017
Georgia Supreme Court
The Georgia Supreme Court held that the City of Marietta failed to comply with a statutory requirement that it provide an appraisal summary to a landowner prior to the initiation of condemnation negotiations and such failure required a dismissal of the condemnation petition. The City of ...
Oct 30, 2017
Georgia Court of Appeals
The Georgia Court of Appeals held that when a case raises a defense of sovereign immunity the courts should address motions on immunity as early as possible. Johnson was fleeing police at high speeds and ignored law enforcement signals to stop. A Georgia State Patrol officer, in an effort ...
Sep 28, 2017
South Dakota Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of South Dakota held that a state law which required certain internet sellers with no physical presence in the state to collect and remit sales tax violated the dormant Commerce Clause. South Dakota does not have a state income tax and derives much of its revenue from the ...
Sep 13, 2017
11th Circuit
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the repeal of a city ordinance that prohibited the sale of sexual devices rendered an adult bookstore's claims for declaratory and injunctive relief, moot. The City of Sandy Springs adopted the ordinance in 2009, criminalizing the commercial ...
Aug 23, 2017
Superior Court of Fulton County
The Georgia General Assembly, in 2010, updated the city charter for the City of Roswell by imposing term limits on the mayor and councilmembers in response to a request from Mayor Jere Wood and the council. The new term limits stated that no person elected to three or more four-year terms ...
Aug 3, 2017
Georgia Supreme Court
Two citizens and taxpayers of the City of Roswell filed suit against the city challenging the manner in which the city council approved a new zoning code. The city denied the allegations and sought a dismissal of the case. The trial court granted the city's motion for judgment on the ...
Jun 30, 2017
Georgia Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Georgia held that the doctrine of sovereign immunity extends to claims for injunctive or declaratory relief that rest upon constitutional grounds. A group of physicians licensed to practice in Georgia filed suit alleging that legislation passed by the General Assembly ...
Jun 19, 2017
Georgia Supreme Court
The Georgia Supreme Court held that a tenant who held a five-year lease on a property did not have an interest in the property and therefore did not have standing ot challenge a rezoning decision and could not rely on restrictive covenants burdening the property to establish standing. The ...
Jun 19, 2017
Georgia Court of Appeals
The city clerk and a police officer for the City of Pendergrass informed the mayor that they had information and documents showing that there had been a misappropriation of city funds, misuse of city property, bribery, and verbal abuse by the city administrator (who was also the police ...
Jun 13, 2017
Georgia Court of Appeals
Hogan contracted with the City of Atlanta for an amount not to exceed $3,198,525 to construct a fire station in the city. After Hogan began work on the project numerous delays occurred due to various discoveries on the property which cause necessary major changes to the planned project ...
Jun 7, 2017
Georgia Supreme Court
In a unanimous decision  the Supreme Court of Georgia held that local sales and use taxes imposed on the retail sale of motor fuel are not “motor fuel taxes.” The court's decision affirms the trial court’s dismissal of the action brought by the Georgia Motor ...
Jun 5, 2017
Georgia Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Georgia held that the City of Atlanta's annexation of five unincorporated areas did not become effective until the first day of the month following the month in which all of the requirements of annexations under state law had been met and not the date the mayor ...
Jun 5, 2017
Georgia Court of Appeals
The Hall County Sheriff's Department was informed that the owners of a local gas station were paying out cash to winners of the store's coin-operated amusement machines, in contravention of state law. Law enforcement subsequently executed a search warrant and seized over $12,000 in ...
May 18, 2017
Superior Court of Fulton County
The DeKalb County School District filed suit challenging an annexation by the City of Atlanta seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. Prior to the lawsuit, dozens of residents living in DeKalb County requested that their properties be annexed into the City of Atlanta. The proponents of ...
Apr 28, 2017
Georgia Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Georgia held that a the Georgia Open Records Act provides for its own cause of action for enforcement of open records requests and, thus, a mandamus action seeking to compel compliance with the Act was unavailable.  Blalock sought access to records from the City ...
Apr 17, 2017
Georgia Court of Appeals
The Georgia Court of Appeals held that a City of Atlanta worker who had allegedly had her employment terminated for complaining about irregulaties in the city's water system was not required to provide the city with ante litem notice, pursuant to the recent decision in  ...
Mar 23, 2017
Georgia Supreme Court
Serless West, an employee of the city of Albany’s utility board, reported some financial irregularities in the way some cash payments were handled to her superiors. A few days later, the city terminated her employment and she filed suit against the city in 2015. Her lawsuit against ...
Mar 6, 2017
Georgia Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Georgia held that a State Court clerk had a clear duty to file a motion to compel under the requested case number without making an independent determination about whether a new case number should be assigned. Alexander, the Clerk for the State Court of Gwinnett County, ...
Nov 30, 2016
Georgia Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Georgia held that a DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer was not protected under former O.C.G.A. §45-11-4, which applied to certain misdemeanors committed by public officers, and that he would be granted a re-trial for his charge of criminal attempt to commit ...
Nov 30, 2016
11th Circuit
Derrick Bailey, an officer of the Douglasville Police Department, filed a written complaint with his chief, reporting that other Douglasville officers and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputies had been racially profiling minority citizens and committing other constitutional ...
Nov 28, 2016
Georgia Supreme Court
The Georgia Supreme Court held that there was not a justiciable controversy presented in a case involving a declaratory judgment action filed by the City of Atlanta concerning questions as to whether the city could annex into Fulton County without having to also expand the boundaries of the ...
Nov 21, 2016
Georgia Court of Appeals
Willie and Kristy Harris brought suit against The Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Garden City, seeking to recover damages arising from injuries their minor daughter suffered when, while attending a youth football game at a stadium owned and operated by the City, she fell through the ...
Nov 15, 2016