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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
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
10th Circuit
The Tenth Circuit held that a former county employee had failed to state a claim for relief under Section 1983 in his suit claiming that he was fired in retaliation for his speech on matters of public concern. Trimble began working for Tulsa County in 1991 and became the IT Manager for the ...
Mar 14, 2018
5th Circuit
The Fifth Circuit upheld a State of Texas law which forbid "sanctuary city" policies by prohibiting local governments from limiting cooperation with federal immigration enforcement and requiring local governments to comply with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer ...
Mar 13, 2018
11th Circuit
The Eleventh Circuit held that three Atlanta police officers were entitled to qualified immunity on a plaintiff's Section 1983 claims and to official immunity on the plaintiff's state law claims. Gates participated in a march in downtown Atlanta to protest a police shooting which ...
Mar 13, 2018
7th Circuit
Rosenberg, a former Vice President of Sales and Marketing with Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc. attempted to obtain a share of the proceeds Redflex paid to the City of Chicago to settle a fraud against the city through a qui tam action. Redflex had a contract with the city which was ...
Mar 12, 2018
Georgia Court of Appeals
The Georgia Court of Appeals held that the City of Waycross was not required to indemnify its health plan administrator for claims regarding fraudulent representation by a hospital. In 2012, the City of Waycross entered into an agreement with Group Resources, Inc. (GR) to act as the third ...
Mar 8, 2018
11th Circuit
The Eleventh Circuit held that a suspect was not under arrest when an officer trained his gun on him and thus he was precluded from pursuing a Section 1983 false arrest claim and that the officer did not use excessive force when he fatally shot the suspect. Shaw, an elderly mentally ill man ...
Mar 7, 2018
Superior Court of DeKalb County
The Superior Court of DeKalb County ruled that the City of Brookhaven's attempt to condemn 19 acres of property to place within a planned greenway was a bad faith deal. The city had sought to condemn the property to create a trailhead for a new park and trail system in the city. The ...
Feb 27, 2018
5th Circuit
A number of plaintiffs brought a class-action lawsuit against Harris County, Texas and a number of its officials, including judges, for alleged violations under Section 1983. The class plaintiffs alleged that the county's system of setting bail for indigent misdemeanor arrestees ...
Feb 14, 2018
Georgia Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Georgia held that Garden City was free from liability to any person injured on the city's property who was allowed to use the property for recreational purposes free of charge under the Recreational Property Act (RPA). The Harris family chose to attend a youth ...
Jan 29, 2018
11th Circuit
Dontrell Stephens was shot multiple times by Palm Beach County Deputy Sheriff Lin and, as a result, suffered permanent paralysis. An action was brought by Stephens and his guardian, Simmons, again Lin as an individual and Sheriff Bradshaw in his official capacity. The district court granted ...
Jan 10, 2018
10th Circuit
The 10th Circuit reversed a grant of a preliminary injunction against policies and regulations governing protests and demonstrations at the Denver International Airport enacted by the City and County of Denver. The Denver Municipal Code governs all speech activity at the airport and ...
Jan 4, 2018