GeorgiaCarry.org v. Atlanta Botanical Garden, Inc.Annotate this Case
Appellants GeorgiaCarry.org and Phillip Evans appeal the dismissal of their petition for declaratory and injunctive relief as to the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s prohibition of weapons on the Garden’s premises. Evans, who holds a Georgia weapons carry license, visited the Garden twice in October 2014 and wore a handgun in a waistband holster each time. After gaining admission to the Garden on his second visit, Evans was stopped by an employee of the Garden and advised that he could not carry the weapon at the Garden; a security officer detained Evans, and Evans was eventually escorted from the Garden by an officer with the Atlanta Police Department. The Supreme Court agreed with appellants that the trial court erred in dismissing their case. "Appellants request for declaratory relief was not impermissible, and it was error to dismiss Appellants’ declaratory judgment action on the basis that it improperly called for the interpretation and application of a criminal statute." Accordingly, the trial court’s order was reversed in this respect. The trial court also dismissed Appellants’ request for injunctive relief; the Supreme Court concluded this was proper in part. The portion of Appellants’ requested injunctive relief (enjoining the arrest or prosecution of Appellants) squarely implicated the administration of criminal law and, thus, was improper. The case was remanded for further proceedings.