On October 17, 2016, the Supreme Court of Georgia issued 19 opinions, of which two are within the scope of our coverage. Summaries of the cases and decisions are set forth below.
S16A1106 Nemchik, et al. v. Riggs
In a unanimous opinion by Justice Nahmias, with Presiding Justice Hines not participating, the Supreme Court of Georgia upheld a trial court’s injunction prohibiting the parties to a lawsuit who disagreed over ownership of real property from entering that property during the pendency of the lawsuit.
The dispute concerned the Nemchiks’ claim of an easement across a wooded portion of adjoining property owned by Riggs. Riggs plans to develop the property, but the Nemchiks started cutting trees on it and posted notices. That action triggered a lawsuit from Riggs.
The Supreme Court rejected the Nemchiks’ contention that Riggs failed to show a substantial likelihood of success and that the trial court did not properly balance the equities before entering the injunction. It noted that, at the injunction hearing, the Nemchiks presented “no evidence … showing that they have a lawful easement” across the disputed property. The court also noted that the injunction preserved the status quo by limiting access by both parties.
The Supreme Court also noted that the trial court entered an order declaring that the Nemchiks do not have the claimed easement and certified that order for immediate appeal. It transferred the interlocutory appeal to the Georgia Court of Appeals because easement disputes are not within the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction. That case remains pending in the Court of Appeals.
S16A1182 Tyrones v. Tyrones
In a unanimous opinion by Justice Hunstein, the Supreme Court of Georgia rejected a challenge to a real property partitioning sale. It noted that an inadequate price alone is not a sufficient reason for setting aside a sale under power. Giordana v. Stubbs, 228 Ga. 75, 79, 184 SE 2d 165 (1971). Here’s there were other “circumstance[s] that might have contributed to the low winning bid.”