Supreme Court of Georgia Decisions

Nine justices serve on the Georgia Supreme Court, which expanded from seven justices in 2017. Under the Georgia Constitution, the Court has exclusive jurisdiction over appeals involving issues of constitutional law or cases contesting elections. It has general jurisdiction over appeals in cases certified for its review, as well as cases involving divorce or alimony, title to real estate, wills or equity, the death penalty, and writs of habeas corpus or certiorari. More broadly, if the Court finds that a case before a Georgia Court of Appeals involves a matter of great public importance, it may assert jurisdiction over that case.

A candidate for a seat on the Court needs only to be a resident of Georgia who has been licensed to practice law in the state for at least the last seven years. Each new justice is selected through a non-partisan election, which means that the candidates are listed on the ballot without their party affiliation. Once they are elected, a justice serves a six-year term. If a seat becomes vacant before the end of a term, the Governor of Georgia will appoint an interim replacement by using the assisted appointment method. This means that the Georgia Judicial Nominating Commission compiles a list of candidates, and the Governor likely will select the interim justice from that list, although this is not technically required. The Governor appoints the 18 members of the Commission. Their list generally will consist of at least five candidates. The justices elect the Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court from among their members, and the position rotates among them.

A justice may face removal, retirement, or other forms of discipline if the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission determines that discipline is appropriate. However, the Georgia Supreme Court makes the final decision on removal or retirement. A justice also may be removed if they are impeached by the Georgia House of Representatives and convicted by the Georgia State Senate in a two-thirds vote.

Browse Opinions From the Supreme Court of Georgia

Recent Decisions From the Supreme Court of Georgia
JOHNS et al. v. SUZUKI MOTOR OF AMERICA, INC. et al.
Date: October 19, 2020
Docket Number: S19G1478
JOHNS et al. v. SUZUKI MOTOR OF AMERICA, INC. et al.
Date: October 19, 2020
Docket Number: S19G1478
Johns, et al. v. Suzuki Motor of America, Inc., et al.  
Date: October 19, 2020
Docket Number: S19G1478

Justia Opinion Summary: Adrien Johns was seriously injured in August 2013 when the front brake on his Suzuki motorcycle failed suddenly. He sued the designer and manufacturer of the motorcycle, Suzuki Motor Corporation, and its wholly-owned sub...

Crippen & Lawrence Investment Co., Inc. v. A Tract of Land Being Known as 444 Lemon Street, et. al.  
Date: October 19, 2020
Docket Number: S19G1645

Justia Opinion Summary: When Lillie Mae Bedford died in 1997, she left a residential property in Marietta, Georgia by testamentary devise to her daughter, Jennifer Hood. Although the Bedford estate never made and delivered a deed to Hood to per...

Middleton v. Georgia  
Date: October 19, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0718

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Christopher Middleton was convicted by jury of felony murder for the shooting death of Wesley Bryant. Middleton contended on appeal that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction, that the count o...

Swann v. Georgia  
Date: October 19, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0767

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Dakota Swann challenged his 2014 convictions for murder and other crimes in connection with the 2008 shooting death of Shannon Williams. Appellant argued trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective for faili...

Hill v. Georgia  
Date: October 19, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0781

Justia Opinion Summary: After Christina and Marshall Wellington were unable to pay a drug debt, Otis Hill shot them. Christina died; Marshall survived, but lost an eye. Hill and Aviance Marshall (“Aviance”), who drove Hill and the Wellingtons t...

Harris v. Georgia  
Date: October 19, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0786

Justia Opinion Summary: Vincent Harris was convicted by jury of the malice murders of Tina Green-Hall and her six-year-old son, Jeremy Green-Hall. On appeal, Harris argued the trial court abused its discretion by admitting certain evidence and...

Goins v. Georgia  
Date: October 19, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0847

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Charmane Goins was convicted of malice murder in connection with the strangling death of Lauren Taylor. The trial court summarily denied his motion for new trial. In a prior appeal, the Georgia Supreme Court he...

Rawls v. Georgia  
Date: October 19, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0872

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Donnel Rawls was convicted of malice murder and feticide in connection with the killing of his pregnant girlfriend, Amber Beckwith. Appellant argued on appeal that his convictions were not supported by the evid...

Hinkson v. Georgia  
Date: October 19, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0887

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Shane Hinkson appeals from his conviction for felony murder predicated on aggravated assault stemming from the death of his eight-month-old son, Alexander Cabanayan. On appeal, Hinkson argued the jury returned...

Jackson v. Georgia  
Date: October 19, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0939

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Antwan "Rico" Jackson filed an out-of-time appeal to challenge his 2010 convictions for felony murder and attempted cocaine trafficking in connection with the shooting death of Christopher Hoskin. Appellant con...

Henderson v. Georgia  
Date: October 19, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0986

Justia Opinion Summary: Arion Henderson was convicted by jury of malice murder, felony murder, and aggravated assault in connection with the death of his grandfather, William Stridiron. Henderson contended on appeal that the State violated his...

Atkins v. Georgia  
Date: October 19, 2020
Docket Number: S20A1019

Justia Opinion Summary: Brian Atkins was convicted by jury of felony murder predicated on aggravated assault and possession of a firearm, all in connection with the 2016 shooting death of Brian Parks. On appeal, Atkins argued the evidence was i...

Sharpe v. Georgia  
Date: October 19, 2020
Docket Number: S20A1399

Justia Opinion Summary: David Sharpe was convicted by jury of felony murder and other related crimes in connection with the 2016 shooting death of Devonte Coney. On appeal. Sharpe argued he received constitutionally ineffective assistance of co...

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.