2020 Georgia Code
Title 9 - Civil Practice
Chapter 14 - Habeas Corpus
Article 2 - Procedure for Persons Under Sentence of State Court of Record
§ 9-14-49. Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

Universal Citation: GA Code § 9-14-49 (2020)

After reviewing the pleadings and evidence offered at the trial of the case, the judge of the superior court hearing the case shall make written findings of fact and conclusions of law upon which the judgment is based. The findings of fact and conclusions of law shall be recorded as part of the record of the case.

(Code 1933, § 50-127, enacted by Ga. L. 1967, p. 835, § 3.)

Cross references.

- Ruling on petition, Ga. Unif. S. Ct. R. 44.12.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

This section simply requires the trial judge to set out the judge's findings of fact, showing a consideration of the facts of the case and a determination in relation to these facts. Day v. Mills, 224 Ga. 741, 164 S.E.2d 828 (1968).

This section does not require the trial court at a habeas hearing to set forth each fact upon which the court bases the court's finding, as these facts appear in the record, and no useful purpose would be accomplished by having the trial judge repeat them. Day v. Mills, 224 Ga. 741, 164 S.E.2d 828 (1968).

This section does not require trial court at a habeas corpus hearing to set forth each fact upon which the court bases its finding. Brown v. Holland, 228 Ga. 628, 187 S.E.2d 246 (1972), overruled on other grounds, Hall v. Hopper, 234 Ga. 625, 216 S.E.2d 839 (1975).

Remand for finding not authorized.

- O.C.G.A. § 9-14-49 did not authorize the superior court in a habeas corpus proceeding to remand the proceeding to another superior court for a finding as to whether the defendant voluntarily made a statement to a prison official which was used in cross-examination at the defendant's trial. Newsome v. Black, 258 Ga. 787, 374 S.E.2d 733 (1989).

Remand of a habeas proceeding to another superior court was improper.

- Trial court was not authorized to remand a habeas proceeding to another superior court, or to order the filing of an extraordinary motion for new trial in another superior court; a final order transferring the defendant's ineffective assistance of counsel claims to another county was void ab initio as an unauthorized exercise of authority. Martin v. Astudillo, 280 Ga. 295, 627 S.E.2d 34 (2006).

Ruling that no rights were violated and that trial was fair held sufficient.

- Trial court makes sufficient findings of fact by expressly ruling as a matter of fact that none of the petitioner's constitutional rights have been violated by the arresting officers, and that the petitioner has had a fair and legal trial. Brown v. Holland, 228 Ga. 628, 187 S.E.2d 246 (1972), overruled on other grounds, Hall v. Hopper, 234 Ga. 625, 216 S.E.2d 839 (1975).

Adoption of prior ruling held adequate.

- When the trial court referred in habeas corpus proceeding to the records admitted in the prior proceeding, and at least by implication, adopted the court's prior ruling on dismissal of the criminal appeal, the trial court complied with this section. McAuliffe v. Rutledge, 231 Ga. 1, 200 S.E.2d 100 (1973).

Cursory oral ruling embodying finding that no rights violated.

- Oral ruling that was cursory and not in compliance with the exact language of this section, but nonetheless embodied a finding that none of the petitioner's constitutional rights were violated, did not constitute reversible error. Bailey v. Baker, 232 Ga. 84, 205 S.E.2d 278 (1974).

Judge's finding not disturbed if supported by any evidence.

- On trial of a habeas corpus case, the judge is the trier of both the law and the facts, and if there is any evidence to support the finding of the trial court, even though there is evidence to the contrary, such finding will not be disturbed. Williams v. Caldwell, 229 Ga. 453, 192 S.E.2d 378 (1972).

Improper analysis of ineffective assistance of counsel claim.

- Habeas court failed to properly analyze the prejudice prong of the defendant's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel with regard to the guilty plea entered; thus, the order lacked a factually supported legal conclusion essential to the court's ruling on ineffective assistance of counsel claim and essential to the appellate court's appellate review of that ruling. Dozier v. Watson, 305 Ga. 629, 827 S.E.2d 276 (2019).

Insufficient order denying relief.

- Judgment denying an appellant's request for habeas relief was vacated and the case was remanded because the order denying relief contained no indication of the facts or law on which the trial court based the court's decision and therefore failed to meet the requirements of O.C.G.A. § 9-14-49. Thomas v. State, 284 Ga. 327, 667 S.E.2d 375 (2008), overruled on other grounds, Crosson v. Conway, 291 Ga. 220, 728 S.E.2d 617 (2012).

Cited in White v. Gnann, 225 Ga. 398, 169 S.E.2d 301 (1969); Stynchcombe v. Walden, 226 Ga. 63, 172 S.E.2d 402 (1970); Law v. Smith, 226 Ga. 298, 174 S.E.2d 893 (1970); Hughes v. Sikes, 273 Ga. 804, 546 S.E.2d 518 (2001); Greer v. Thompson, 281 Ga. 419, 637 S.E.2d 698 (2006); In re Baucom, 297 Ga. App. 661, 678 S.E.2d 118 (2009); Bennett v. Etheridge, 302 Ga. 33, 805 S.E.2d 38 (2017).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 39 Am. Jur. 2d, Habeas Corpus and Postconviction Remedies, § 163.

C.J.S.

- 39A C.J.S., Habeas Corpus, § 368 et seq.

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