Georgia Dept. of Nat'l Resources v. Center for a Sustainable Coast, Inc.Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court granted certiorari in this case to determine whether the doctrine of sovereign immunity barred injunctive relief at common law. Appellees Center for a Sustainable Coast, Inc. (and David and Melinda Egan) filed a declaratory judgment suit against Appellants Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and DNR's Coastal Resources Division (CRD), by and through its director A.G. "Spud" Woodward. In its suit, the Center sought to enjoin the State from issuing Letters of Permission (LOPs) to third parties authorizing land alterations to property within the jurisdiction of the Shore Protection Act. The trial court granted the State's motion to dismiss the Center's petition, finding that the Center was not entitled to declaratory relief because the State had not waived sovereign immunity, and, even if it had, there was no justiciable controversy. The Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part, finding that the trial court had correctly dismissed the Center's declaratory judgment claim as non-justiciable but improperly dismissed the injunctive relief claim. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that sovereign immunity barred injunctive relief against the State at common law.