Borders v. AtlantaAnnotate this Case
The issue this case presented for the Georgia Supreme Court’s review came from a class action challenging a 2011 City of Atlanta ordinance and the subsequent amendment by the City of its three defined benefit pension plans. The Ordinance and Amendment increased the percentage of salary required as the annual contributions of the members of the Plans. The action filed against the City, the Mayor, and members of the Atlanta City Council (collectively “Defendants”), was on behalf of City employees who participated in the Plans prior to November 1, 2011, and had not retired prior to that date, which was the start date for the increase, and were otherwise subject to the Amendment. The complaint alleged that Defendants breached Plaintiffs’ employment contracts and violated the impairment clause of the State Constitution when Defendants passed the portions of the Ordinance which increased the amounts that the Plaintiffs were required to contribute to the Plans, even though Plaintiffs would receive the same amount of retirement benefits to which they were already entitled prior to passage of the Ordinance. Plaintiffs sought a declaration that the subject portions of the Ordinance violated the Impairment Clause and that Plaintiffs were not required to continue to make the increased contributions to the Plans, and an order enjoining and restraining Defendants from collecting or attempting to collect the increased contributions. After review of the parties’ arguments on appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendants on Plaintiffs’ claims of breach of contract and unconstitutional impairment of contract and their consequent requests for declaratory and injunctive relief.