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Forthcoming Opinions

November 5, 2010

On Monday, November 8, 2010, the Supreme Court of Georgia will release opinions in 20 cases, two of which are civil.  A brief summary of each case is below, and we will update on Monday morning with summaries of the released opinions.


This case involves the proper application of an ad valorem tax exemption for a public charity.  The trial court granted the exemption to the Nuci Phillips Memorial Foundation.

The Court of Appeals (Smith, Phipps, and Bernes) unanimously reversed the trial court, finding that although the institution was a public charity, it used its building for other purposes than just its charitable purposes.  Under the language of OCGA Section 48-5-41(d)(2), the Court of Appeals held that the foundation rented its space for birthday parties and wedding receptions, and thus was not exclusively devoted to a charitable purpose.

The Supreme Court granted certiorari in a 6-1 vote (Carley dissenting) to consider the following question:

  1. Whether the Court of Appeals erred in applying OCGA Section 48-5-41 (d) (2)? Compare Ga. Laws 2006 at 376 and Ga. Laws 2007 at 341.

The Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case on June 8, 2010.

S10A1267. JOINER et al. v. GLENN

This case originated from the firing of the City of Jefferson Police Chief, Darren Glenn.  After being terminated, Glenn was investigated and indicted by a grand jury in 2007 on various charges, but the grand jury reversed its indictment a few months later.  Glenn later brought this actionagainst the mayor of Jefferson and other city officials for wrongful termination, mental anguish, and loss of reputation.  A copy of the Complaint is posted on our site.

After interlocutory rulings by the Superior Court, Glenn’s attorney, former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers applied for interlocutory review of the Superior Court’s decisions.

The Supreme Court unanimously granted the Application for Interlocutory Appeal on February 11, 2010, and requested the parties address the following issues in their briefs:

  1. Whether the trial court erred in ruling that, in a procedural due process claim involving the denial of a liberty interest, the presence of an adequate procedural remedy to cure the alleged procedural deprivation does not defeat the plaintiff’s claim. See Camden County v. Haddock, 271 Ga. 664, 665 (523 SE2d 291) (1999); Cotton v. Jackson, 216 F3d 1328, 1330-1333 (11th Cir. 2000).
  2. Whether, if the trial court did err in this ruling, the writ of mandamus constitutes an adequate procedural remedy in this case.
  3. Whether the trial court correctly interpreted the claims raised under OCGA § 36-33-4 in light of Art. I, Sec. II, Par. IX (d) of the 1983 Georgia Constitution, as amended. Oglethorpe Development Group v. Coleman, 271 Ga. 173, 173-174 (516 SE2d 531) (1999).
The Supreme Court heard oral argument on July 6, 2010.

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