Supreme Court of Georgia Decisions 2017

IN THE MATTER OF KEITH BRIAN HARKLEROAD
Date: March 20, 2017
Docket Number: S16Y1645
BAEZ v. FLANDERS, CHIEF JUDGE
Date: March 20, 2017
Docket Number: S17A0099
Ngumezi v. Georgia  
Date: March 20, 2017
Docket Number: S17A0417

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a jury trial, Ezwekwesiri Ngumezi appealed his convictions for murder, armed robbery, and related charges, contending that the evidence was insufficient to support the jury’s finding of guilt for armed robbery...

OASIS GOODTIME EMPORIUM, INC. v. CITY OF DORAVILLE
Date: March 20, 2017
Docket Number: S17A0421
Sapp v. Georgia  
Date: March 20, 2017
Docket Number: S17A0478

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Timothy Sapp was tried and convicted of murder and related offenses in connection with the shooting death of Christopher Smith. In his sole enumeration of error, Sapp claimed that the evidence presented at tria...

iHeartMedia, Inc. v. Sheridan  
Date: March 20, 2017
Docket Number: S17Q0345

Justia Opinion Summary: The United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia certified a question of Georgia law to the Georgia Supreme Court. Arthur and Barbara Sheridan owned several pre-1972 master sound recordings of certain...

IN THE MATTER OF JOHN ANDREW LESLIE
Date: March 20, 2017
Docket Number: S17Y0374
IN THE MATTER OF EMMANUEL LUCAS WEST
Date: March 20, 2017
Docket Number: S17Y0657
IN THE MATTER OF JON GARY BRANAN
Date: March 20, 2017
Docket Number: S17Y0770
IN THE MATTER OF SAMUEL WILLIAMS, JR.
Date: March 20, 2017
Docket Number: S17Y0897
IN THE MATTER OF CHRISTOPHER JOHN PALAZZOLA
Date: March 20, 2017
Docket Number: S17Y1037
Naji v. Georgia  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Numbers: S16A1489, S17A0503

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants, brothers David and Michael Naji, were convicted of murder in connection with the shooting death of Demetrius Hill. The trial court denied their amended motions for new trial, and they appealed. Both brothers...

Parker v. Leeuwenberg  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1505

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants Ken and Rochel Parker and Appellees Andrew and Penny Leeuwenburg were neighbors with a contentious relationship. Appellees first sought to have Appellants secure a good behavior bond in 2011, but the parties r...

Johnson v. Georgia  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1514

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Corrick Johnson was tried before a jury on charges of malice murder, felony murder (two counts), aggravated assault, and false imprisonment, in the death of Latresh Brown. He appealed, claiming, among other thi...

La Chona, LLC v. Aberra  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1527

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant La Chona, LLC, brought a quiet title action asserting that it was the owner of property located in the City of Decatur, because it had purchased the property at a tax sale and had barred the right of other inte...

Rainwater v. Georgia  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1532

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Kevaughn Rainwater was acquitted of malice murder, but found guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, in the 2012 shooting death of Antavious M...

Bello v. Georgia  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1602

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2013, a grand jury indicted Yonatan Bello for sexual exploitation of children, alleging that he unlawfully possessed video recordings that depict children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Pursuant to OCGA 17-16-4...

Riley v. Southern LNG, Inc.  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1659

Justia Opinion Summary: This was the third appeal of this case arising from the efforts of appellee Southern LNG, Inc. (“Southern”) to compel State Revenue Commissioner Lynnette Riley (“the Commissioner”) to recognize Southern as a “public util...

Bolling v. Georgia  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1674

Justia Opinion Summary: Eric Bolling was convicted by jury of the murder of Parviz Moledina, as well as burglary in the first degree and possession of a knife during the commission of a felony. Bolling appealed, arguing that:(1) the evidence wa...

Markle v. Dass  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1750

Justia Opinion Summary: Donald Markle appealed the grant of a writ of habeas corpus in this child custody case. While residing in Georgia in 2010, Katrina Dass gave birth to the minor child at the center of this controversy; Dass and Markle, th...

Green v. Georgia  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1842

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Willie Green was indicted and tried for malice murder and related crimes in connection with the November 2004 stabbing death of Marita Bradshaw. At trial, Green asserted an insanity defense, which the jury reje...

Dinkins v. Georgia  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1850

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Trey Dinkins appealed his convictions for malice murder and other crimes related to the 2011 shooting death of DaJohn Milton. Appellant testified at trial. He denied shooting the victim, claiming he was at his...

City of Cumming v. Flowers  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Numbers: S16A1884, S16A1885

Justia Opinion Summary: This case centered on the procedure by which a local zoning board’s quasi-judicial decision on a variance request could be appealed to the superior court. Kerley Family Homes, LLC was granted a variance by the City of Cu...

TMX Financial Holdings, Inc. v. Drummond Financial Services, LLC  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1895

Justia Opinion Summary: Drummond Financial Services, LLC and TMX Finance Holdings, Inc. were competitors in the automobile title loan business. Both companies were based in Georgia, with TMX doing business as “TitleMax.” In 2014, Drummond and s...

Steagald v. Eason  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16G0293

Justia Opinion Summary: Gary and Lori Steagald sued David, Cheryl, and Joshua Eason, alleging that the Easons failed to keep Joshua’s dog properly restrained, and asserting that the Easons, therefore, were liable for injuries that Lori sustaine...

Coon v. The Medical Center, Inc.  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16G0695

Justia Opinion Summary: Amanda Rae Coon lived in Alabama but received treatment from a hospital owned by The Medical Center, Inc. in Georgia. After the hospital mishandled the remains of her stillborn baby, Coon filed this lawsuit. Among other...

United Health Services of Georgia, Inc. v. Norton  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16G1143

Justia Opinion Summary: Bernard Norton, by and through Kim Norton, brought a wrongful death action against a number of defendants who were affiliated with a nursing home in which his wife, Lola Norton, died. Bernard claimed that negligent treat...

In the Interest of J.F.  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16Q1826

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeals, in a divided full-court (15-judge) decision, certified to the Georgia Supreme Court a single question of statutory construction: whether OCGA 15-11-521 (b) required dismissal with prejudice when the...

Grange Mutual Casualty Co. v. Woodard  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16Q1875

Justia Opinion Summary: The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals certified a question of Georgia law to the Georgia Supreme Court stemming from an appeal in a personal injury case arising from an automobile accident. The Eleventh Circuit asked for...

WEST v. CITY OF ALBANY et al.
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16Q1881
West v. City of Albany  
Date: March 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16Q1881

Justia Opinion Summary: Searless West was a former employee of the City of Albany who filed a complaint in federal court against the City and two individuals setting forth, among other things, a claim under the Georgia Whistleblower Act (“GWA”)...

Hornbuckle v. Georgia  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1439

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Carol Hornbuckle was convicted of murder in connection with a domestic dispute that ended in the stabbing death of Charles Raburn. The trial court denied Hornbuckle’s amended motion for new trial, and she appea...

McKinney v. Georgia  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1509

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Roy McKinney was convicted of the malice murder of his wife, Shaquilla Weatherspoon, and cruelty to children in the third degree for beating Weatherspoon in the presence of their six-year-old daughter. His only...

Eversole v. Eversole  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1517

Justia Opinion Summary: In January 2015, Janice Eversole filed a divorce action against Jay Eversole seeking, among other things, an award of alimony, child custody, and child support. Wife alleged Husband had left the marital home in Georgia l...

Gomez v. Georgia  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1529

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal stemmed from the denial of a motion to withdraw a guilty plea. Appellant Gilberto Gomez shot and killed 13-year-old Steven Galindo during an armed robbery of Galindo and Galindo’s sister, Samaria Diaz. Gomez...

Harrington v. Georgia  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1545

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Brandon Harrington was convicted of the malice murder and armed robbery of Mamie Wright and related crimes. On appeal, he argued the trial court erred in admitting his custodial interviews and that the evidence...

Smiley v. Georgia  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1597

Justia Opinion Summary: Marcus Smiley appealed his convictions and sentences for malice murder, aggravated battery, and first degree cruelty to children, all in connection with the death of three-month-old Mia Williams and injuries to seven-mon...

Stanley v. Georgia  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1636

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Derrick Stanley appealed his convictions for malice murder and other crimes related to the stabbing death of Doris Murray. Appellant and Murray were formerly in a romantic relationship. At the time of Murray’s...

Wise v. Georgia  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1661

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a jury trial regarding ninety separate counts of criminal activity, Tamario Wise appealed his convictions for murder and armed robbery, contending that the trial court made certain evidentiary errors and that t...

Harvey v. Georgia  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1667

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Kajul Harvey was convicted of malice murder, burglary and other crimes in connection with the death of her mother, Alena Marble. She appealed, arguing, amongst other things, the evidence of guilt was insufficie...

Southern States-Bartow County, Inc. v. Riverwood Farm  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1716

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1991, the Georgia Supreme Court declared Bartow County’s zoning ordinance to be invalid. Two years later, Bartow County enacted a new zoning ordinance that, among other things, included a provision addressing vested r...

Cain v. Georgia  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1725

Justia Opinion Summary: Following the denial of his motion for new trial, as amended, Timothy Cain appealed his convictions and sentences for felony murder while in the commission of an aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the...

Jones v. Georgia  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1742

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2010, Daryl Jones was tried by jury on charges of malice murder, felony murder, and cruelty to children in the first degree in the death of his girlfriend’s 17-month-old daughter. The jury acquitted Jones of malice mu...

Georgia v. Troutman  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1858

Justia Opinion Summary: During the course of investigating the murder of Earl Clemons, investigators learned through a witness and cellular telephone records that appellant Andrew Troutman may have met with Clemons on the day of the murder. In...

Graham v. Georgia  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1882

Justia Opinion Summary: Pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement, appellant Kiera Graham pled guilty to felony murder, armed robbery, and arson in the first degree. Less than a month after she was sentenced for her crimes, appellant filed a moti...

Denney v. Denney  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16F1670

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal arose from a trial court order determining that Father-appellant George Denney was the legal and biological father of minor child M. S. G., and ordering the state registrar to issue a new birth certificate fo...

Chandler Telecom, LLC v. Burdette  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16G0595

Justia Opinion Summary: Adrian Burdette was seriously injured when he fell while attempting a controlled descent from a cell-phone tower in contravention of instructions by his employer, Chandler Telecom, LLC (“Chandler”), that technicians must...

Goldstein, Garber & Salama, LLC v. J.B.  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16G0744

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff-appellee J.B. was injured when certified registered nurse anesthetist (“CRNA”) Paul Serdula sexually assaulted her in a surgical suite in the dental practice of defendant-appellant Goldstein, Garber and Salama,...

Roberson v. Georgia  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16G0931

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Nick Roberson was convicted of family-violence simple battery after a trial in which she was represented by a public defender. Wishing to appeal her conviction, Roberson filed a motion seeking a transcript with...

IN THE MATTER OF LAWRENCE EDWARD MADISON
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S16Y1679
Rasheed v. Sarwat  
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S17F0168

Justia Opinion Summary: Husband Imran Rasheed appealed the trial court’s grant of a motion to enforce a settlement agreement filed by wife Maryam Sarwat and its incorporation into a final decree of divorce. Husband contended that no settlement...

IN THE MATTER OF JOHN MICHAEL SPAIN
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S17Y0010
IN THE MATTER OF TED H. REED
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S17Y0420
IN THE MATTER OF DAVID J. FARNHAM
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S17Y0531
IN THE MATTER OF SHANNON BRILEY-HOLMES
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S17Y0668
IN THE MATTER OF GARY LANIER COULTER
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S17Y0814
IN THE MATTER OF MORRIS P. FAIR, JR. (two cases)
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Numbers: S17Y0815, S17Y0816
IN THE MATTER OF JOSEPH BYRON ERVIN
Date: February 27, 2017
Docket Number: S17Z0882
Rollins v. Rollins  
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1449

Justia Opinion Summary: Glen and Danielle Rollins divorced in December 2013, and they agreed at that time to submit to binding arbitration of their respective claims to certain furniture and furnishings in the marital home. The arbitrator rende...

Berrien v. Georgia  
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1474

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Michael Berrien challenged the trial court’s order denying his motion to withdraw his guilty plea to felony murder in connection with the shooting death of Marcus Collins. Finding no reversible error in the tri...

Gibson v. Georgia  
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1507

Justia Opinion Summary: Quinnard Gibson was tried by jury and convicted of murder in connection with the 2011 fatal beating of Shannon Stanley. Gibson appealed, contending: (1) that the evidence was legally insufficient to sustain his convictio...

Allen v. Georgia  
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1528

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Superiore Allen was indicted and tried along with Brandon Norwood and Santonio Lucas, and was convicted of malice murder and other crimes arising from the 2009 shooting deaths of Vandit Patel and Jimmy Prak. Ap...

Plez v. Georgia  
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1537

Justia Opinion Summary: Chinua Plez was tried by jury and convicted of murder and other crimes in connection with the 2011 fatal stabbing of Gary Bussey. Plez appeals, contending: (1) the evidence was insufficient to sustain his convictions; (2...

Wyatt v. Georgia  
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1581

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant John Wyatt was tried and convicted of murder in connection with the death of 2-year-old Andrea Marginean. Wyatt appealed, claiming that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction and that the trial...

Turner v. Georgia  
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1583

Justia Opinion Summary: Earlin Turner was tried by jury and found guilty of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, and various other offenses in connection with the shooting death of Damodar Pathak. On appeal, Turner contended only t...

Kimbrough v. Georgia  
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1610

Justia Opinion Summary: Benny Kimbrough appealed a trial court’s order denying his 2015 motion to vacate as void his sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, which was imposed under OCGA 17-10-7 (b) for a murder he committe...

Huff v. Georgia  
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1619

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Shaheed Huff was convicted of malice murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in connection with the 2012 shooting death of Graham Sisk. The trial court denied H...

Mosley v. Georgia  
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1657

Justia Opinion Summary: Following the denial of his motion for new trial, as amended, Sean Mosley appeals his convictions and sentences for malice murder and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime in connection with the 2011 fat...

Henderson v. Georgia  
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1658

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Sylvester Henderson was indicted, along with a co-defendant, for malice murder, felony murder, and other charges relating to the death of Derrick Brown. In 2011, appellant entered a guilty plea for felony murde...

McCoy v. Bovee  
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1660

Justia Opinion Summary: In January 2016, the Superior Court of Chatham County granted a petition for an interlocutory injunction, pursuant to which it removed Leonard McCoy as President of the Board of Directors of the Willow Lakes Plantation H...

Albritton v. Kopp  
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1665

Justia Opinion Summary: The parties, Peggy Albritton and Mark Kopp divorced in 2011. The final divorce decree incorporated a settlement agreement and child support addendum wherein Husband agreed to pay child support while the daughter was a fu...

Smith v. Georgia  
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1766

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Roderick Smith was convicted of malice murder and other offenses arising out of the shooting death of his girlfriend, Sherita Dunham. Smith appealed his conviction and sentence and the order denying his motion...

Smith v. Georgia  
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1781

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Christopher Smith was tried and convicted of murder and related offenses in connection with the 2013 shooting death of Kevin Daniel and aggravated assault of Kamenika Whatley. Smith appealed, claiming three ins...

Jones v. Georgia  
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Numbers: S16A1790, S16A1791

Justia Opinion Summary: Jami and Louis Jones, were tried together by jury and convicted of the murder of their six-year-old son, Colin (among other crimes). They appealed, both contending that they were denied the effective assistance of counse...

Barnett v. Georgia  
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1892

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Steven Barnett was convicted of malice murder in the stabbing death of George “Bubba” Bennett. The trial court denied Barnett’s amended motion for new trial, and he appealed. Barnett argued to the Supreme Court...

PHILMORE v. THE STATE
Date: February 6, 2017
Docket Number: S17A0723
Morrison v. Georgia  
Date: January 23, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1426

Justia Opinion Summary: Kyro Morrison was tried by jury and convicted of the murder of Vonyell Byrd, as well as unlawful possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Morrison appealed, contending that the evidence was legally insu...

Kilgore v. Georgia  
Date: January 23, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1430

Justia Opinion Summary: Jonathan Kilgore appealed the denial of his motion for new trial (as amended), and his convictions and sentences for felony murder while in the commission of aggravated assault, aggravated assault, and two counts of poss...

Thomas v. Georgia  
Date: January 23, 2017
Docket Numbers: S16A1520, S16A1521

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants Julius Thomas and Desmond Nixon were tried jointly and convicted of murder and related offenses in connection with a crime spree that took place over three days in January 2013. Both appellants appealed, argui...

Upshaw v. Georgia  
Date: January 23, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1524

Justia Opinion Summary: Jerome Upshaw was tried by jury and convicted of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in connection with the 1996 fatal shooting of Joanne Walton. Upshaw appealed, contending that...

Brown v. Georgia  
Date: January 23, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1530

Justia Opinion Summary: Ramel Brown was convicted by jury for murder and related crimes. Brown was found guilty for gang activity too. The trial court granted Brown’s motion for new trial solely on that count, finding that evidence used to prov...

Mosby v. Georgia  
Date: January 23, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1580

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Leslie Mosby was convicted of murder and other offenses arising out of the 2012 shooting death of Theisen Wynn. Mosby appealed: (1) challenging that the evidence did not prove the affirmative defense of self-de...

Dennis v. Georgia  
Date: January 23, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1600

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1998, a 17-year-old Robert Dennis pled guilty to several charges, including malice murder, in connection with the 1997 shooting death of Louise Carter. Dennis was sentenced, in relevant part to this appeal, to life in...

Johnson v. Georgia  
Date: January 23, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1649

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Gregory Johnson was convicted of felony murder in connection with the shooting death of Hugh Ethridge. Johnson appealed, claiming, among other things, that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to su...

ADAMS
Date: January 23, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1655
Brown v. Brown  
Date: January 23, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1677

Justia Opinion Summary: Wife appealed an adverse judgment in an action for contempt. The record shows Wife and Husband were divorced on June 20, 2011. Neither party was represented by counsel during the divorce. The final divorce decree was a p...

Southall v. Georgia  
Date: January 23, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1721

Justia Opinion Summary: Amos Southall was tried by jury and convicted of murder and another crime in connection with the killing of Michelle Hainley. Southall appealed, contending that he was denied due process when the prosecution failed to di...

English v. Georgia  
Date: January 23, 2017
Docket Number: S16A1754

Justia Opinion Summary: James English appeals his convictions after a jury convicted him for the malice murder of Ricky Payne and first degree arson. English argued the trial court committed plain error by not providing a jury charge regarding...

Lyman v. CellChem International, Inc.  
Date: January 23, 2017
Docket Number: S16G0662

Justia Opinion Summary: After Dale Lyman and his wife, Helen, left Cellchem International, Inc. to work for a competitor, Cellchem sued the Lymans and two companies with which they had affiliated (collectively the “Lymans”), asserting claims fo...

IN THE MATTER OF SHANINA NASHAE LANK
Date: January 23, 2017
Docket Numbers: S16Y0723, S16Y0724, S16Y0725
IN THE MATTER OF TRENT CARL GAINES
Date: January 23, 2017
Docket Number: S17Y0375
IN THE MATTER OF JOANNA TEMPLE
Date: January 23, 2017
Docket Number: S17Y0496
The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.