LOGIN      CONTACT GMA      NEW TO GMA?                  

Legal Database

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.
For questions regarding the legal database, please contact Senior Associate General Counsel Rusi Patel at 678-686-6210.
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
Decision Date
District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District
In March of 2017, the City of Miami adopted a resolution on short-term rentals based upon the city's zoning ordinance which prohibited rentals of anything less than a month in specific single-family residential zones. AirBnb and several city residents who used AirBnb filed suit for ...
Dec 5, 2018
Georgia Court of Appeals
A group of citizens and taxpayers in Fulton County sued the Fulton County Board of Tax Assessors (Board) for a writ of mandamus and injunctive and declaratory relief in a dispute over whether the Board exercised its duty to investigate and determine whether the interest of the Atlanta ...
Dec 3, 2018
7th Circuit
Taylor, a former police officer for the Town of Lawrenceburg, Indiana, ran and won an election for city council in November 2011. While running for office Taylor appeared at a campaign event in full uniform and represented on his police time sheet that he was on duty during the campaign ...
Nov 20, 2018
U.S. Supreme Court
Guido and Rankin filed suit against the Mount Lemmon Fire District for terminating their employment, alleging that the terminations were in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). The Fire District responded that they were too small to qualify as an employer ...
Nov 6, 2018
Georgia Court of Appeals
Athens College of Ministry, Inc. (ACM) sought by application with Oconee County a special use permit to build a college campus on more than 100 acres of property owned by Green Hills Farms, LLC (Green Hills), located in an agricultural zoning district. York and Icy Forest, also property ...
Nov 2, 2018
Georgia Court of Appeals
Grady EMC, a private, nonprofit, electric utility owned by the members it serves has more than 13,000 members. In 2014, Clyatt, one of its members began questioning some management decsicions of Grady EMC. As part of his inquiries he met with Grady EMC leadership and purchased nine ...
Nov 2, 2018
Georgia Court of Appeals
A group of residents of south Fulton County petitioned the City of Atlanta for annexation in April 2015 and the city verified the petition for annexation on April 18, 2016. Subsequently, the city adopted an annexation ordinance concerning the area on June 6, 2016, which was signed by the ...
Oct 24, 2018
Georgia Court of Appeals
Browning appealed a grant of summary judgment on the basis of sovereign immunity to the Rabun County Board of Commissioners in a breach of contract suit relating to her late husband's life insurance benefits. Browning asserted that a written contract existed between her husband and the ...
Oct 23, 2018
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas held that the City of Houston had failed to follow a court entered stipulation and order concerning production of electronically stored information. The overarching case involved questions regarding the practices and ...
Aug 30, 2018
U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
After Councilwoman Eudaly for the City of Portland, Oregon, posted a message on her personal Facebook page specifically discussing German's actions as a political activist who regularly attended city council meetings a thread of comments from others ensued. Eudaly responded to some of ...
Jun 29, 2018
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
A group of plaintiffs, all Twitter users, each tweeted messages critical of President Trump or his policies in reply to tweets from the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account. The Twitter account was created by the President when he was a private citizen in 2009. However, after becoming President ...
May 23, 2018
Superior Court of Greene County
The Superior Court of Greene County, on remittitur, modified its previous Final Order of March 13, 2017, to be consistent with the Georgia Supreme Court's directions in City of Union Point v. Greene County, 812 S.E.2d 278 (March 15, 2018). The case centered on unresolved service ...
May 21, 2018
Georgia Court of Appeals
The Georgia Court of Appeals held that a group of police officers had their lawsuits barred by sovereign immunity against the city manager of the City of Brunswick. Three months after becoming the city manager, Drumm met with the city's police chief to discuss retention and promotion of ...
May 15, 2018
7th Circuit
The Seventh Circuit held that a school board did not deny a school board member any constitutionally protected liberty interest by investigating such board member's conduct at a school event and that the board member did not have a protected liberty interest in her emotional well-being ...
May 10, 2018
7th Circuit
The Seventh Circuit held that the Indianapolis Fire Department's decision not to hire Quinn Heath, a ranked and certified firefighter, was not because Quinn's father, Rodney had filed a qui tam lawsuit against the fire department. Quinn had passed all applicable tests to ...
May 9, 2018
8th Circuit
The Eighth Circuit held that a city could be liable under Section 1983 litigation even though individual officials of the city were personally immune from suit. A group of motorists filed a putative class action against the City of Maplewood under Section 1983 claiming the city's policy ...
May 4, 2018
11th Circuit
Thomas worked as a Sergeant in the Marion County Sheriff's Office and for over a three and a half year period he utilized the Florida driver and vehicle identification database to access the personal information of thousands of people. He later admitted that many of the searches were ...
May 2, 2018
9th Circuit
The Ninth Circuit held that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether exigent circumstances existed to justify the warrantless seizure of a homeless man's birds. Two city of Los Angeles animal control officers found Recchia keeping twenty birds in boxes and cages on a ...
May 1, 2018
Georgia Supreme Court
The Georgia Supreme Court telecommunications providers were not required to repay erroneously collected sales taxes to their customers before filing a reimbursement request with the Georgia Department of Revenue on the behalf of such customers. A group of telecommunications companies ...
Apr 16, 2018
2nd Circuit
The Second Circuit held that a rental tenant had standing to bring a due process challenge against the City of Syracuse's water service termination policy and that the tenant plausibly stated a claim for violation of substantive due process. Winston was a forty-year-old mother of two ...
Apr 11, 2018
11th Circuit
Oconee County denied a special use permit to Verizon to build a nearly 200 foot tower. Verizon sued and the district court dismissed the case as time-barred finding that the 30 day period to file suit began when the county clerk entered a document evidencing the county commission&rsquo ...
Apr 2, 2018
Georgia Court of Appeals
The Georgia Court of Appeals held that water flowing from a City of Gainesville stormwater discharge pipe did not constitute an abatable nuisance. Waldrip was part owner in a parcel of property within the city located on a 12-acre drainage basin. Waldrip chose to construct a shopping center ...
Mar 16, 2018
Georgia Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Georgia reversed the order of the trial court that found portions of the Service Delivery Act (SDS Act) unconstitutional. Specifically, the Court found that the judicial dispute resolution process was constitutional and rejected the trial court’s reliance on ...
Mar 15, 2018
Georgia Court of Appeals
The Georgia Court of Appeals held that the Atlanta Botanical Garden (ABC) constituted private property, even though it was owned by the City of Atlanta and leased to ABC, and thus ABC was permitted to prohibit individuals from carrying weapons on the property. The ABC is a private, non ...
Mar 14, 2018
6th Circuit
The Sixth Circuit held that police officers and the City of Columbus did not violate Thornton's constitutional rights when he was shot by police officers. Thornton had called police on a non-emergency call after spotting two young black males he believed had been involved in an assault ...
Mar 14, 2018