City of Union Point v. Greene CountyAnnotate this Case
In October 1999, pursuant to the Service Delivery Strategy Act (SDS), Greene County, Georgia and five municipalities within the County, including the City of Union Point, entered into various intergovernmental agreements governing local services. In 2015, the City of Union Point filed a “Complaint for TRO, Interlocutory and Permanent Injunction,” alleging that Greene County had unilaterally discontinued police and fire dispatch and communications services to the City’s police and fire departments and had ignored attempts to resolve the issue. The trial court entered a temporary restraining order directing the County to resume dispatch and communications services. A month later, in response to a motion to dismiss, the City amended its complaint to seek a declaratory judgment and mediation under the SDS Act. After the County filed a second motion to dismiss on the grounds of sovereign immunity, standing, and untimely request for mediation, the City again amended its complaint to assert claims for breach of contract, mandamus, specific performance, injunction and attorney fees, and attached a certified copy of the service delivery agreements on file with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Before the Georgia Supreme Court, this case called into question the constitutionality of the evidentiary hearing process provided by OCGA 36-70-25.1 (d) (2). In its order entered at the end of the hearing process, the trial court found that portion of the statute unconstitutional, and further found that sovereign immunity barred all claims and remedies except those provided for in the SDS Act itself. The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling on sovereign immunity, but reversed its finding on the constitutionality of OCGA 36-70-25.1 (d) (2). Furthermore, the Court found the trial court exceeded the bounds of the statutory process by going beyond the remedies provided to order particular actions by the parties and by considering matters not submitted to mediation.