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Forthcoming Opinions

October 18, 2013

On Monday, in addition to hearing oral argument, the Supreme Court of Georgia will release opinions in 22 cases, two of which are within the scope of our coverage. We will update on Monday morning with links to and summaries of the opinions, but in the meantime, summaries of the cases are below.

S12G2003. MANDT v. LOVELL

This case involves the ability of a court to modify its prior judgments. In 2008, the trial court converted a temporary family violence protective order against Lovell into a permanent protective order (PPO). Two years later, Lovell sought to terminate the PPO before the same court. In 2011, the trial court held a hearing and granted the motion to terminate the PPO. Mandt appealed, arguing that the trial court was barred from terminating the PPO by res judicata, because it lacked jurisdiction, and because the attempt to terminate the PPO failed to state a claim on which relief can be granted.

The Court of Appeals (Mikell, Miller, Blackwell) unanimously affirmed the trial court’s decision, finding that the trial court may modify its prior orders. The Court of Appeals further found that a judgment that govern continuing or recurring courses of conduct may be modified.

On January 7, 2013, the Supreme Court unanimously granted the petition for certiorari (Blackwell disqualified) to consider the following issue:

  1. Under what circumstances, if any, may a trial court terminate a permanent protective order entered pursuant to OCGA § 19-13-4?

The case was heard on April 15, 2013.

S13A1105 Moss et al. v. City of Dunwoody

This case involves the constitutionality of the City of Dunwoody imposing a business occupation tax on lawyers. In 2009, the City of Dunwoody sent a business license application to two lawyers who practiced in the city, requiring them to apply and pay the occupation tax. The lawyers refused and sued the city, claiming the ordinance was unconstitutional because it was a precondition on the practice of law. The trial court found the tax was constitutional and ordered the lawyers to pay the taxes, but not the city’s legal costs. The lawyers appealed.

The case will be argued on June 3, 2013.

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