2021 Georgia Code
Title 23 - Equity
Chapter 3 - Equitable Remedies and Proceedings Generally
Article 3 - Quia Timet
Part 2 - Quia Timet Against All the World
§ 23-3-63. Submission to Special Master

Universal Citation: GA Code § 23-3-63 (2021)

The court, upon receipt of the petition together with the plat and instruments filed therewith, shall submit the same to a special master who shall be a person who is authorized to practice law in this state and is a resident of the judicial circuit wherein the action is brought.

(Ga. L. 1966, p. 443, § 3.)

Law reviews.

- For annual survey of law on real property, see 62 Mercer L. Rev. 283 (2010).


Default improper if no special master appointed.

- Default judgment against owners in a quiet title action based on their failure to answer was improper because, once the in rem proceeding was instituted, the trial court was required, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 23-3-63, to submit the matter to a special master, and a special master was never appointed such that service could have properly been completed pursuant to the Quiet Title Act, O.C.G.A. § 23-3-60 et seq.; since the Quiet Title Act provided specific rules of practice and procedure with respect to an in rem quiet title action against all the world, the Civil Practice Act, O.C.G.A. § 9-11-1 et. seq., was inapplicable. Woodruff v. Morgan County, 284 Ga. 651, 670 S.E.2d 415 (2008).

Appointment of special master required.

- In a quiet title action, the trial court erred by failing to appoint a special master because Georgia's Quiet Title Act, O.C.G.A. § 23-3-60 et seq., requires a trial court to appoint a special master and for that special master to make a report of the special master's findings to the trial court. DOCO Credit Union v. Chambers, 330 Ga. App. 633, 768 S.E.2d 808 (2015).

Quiet title proceeding procedurally deficient.

- In a purchaser's quiet title action against the executor of a testatrix's estate, the trial court did not err in adopting the report of a special master and in decreeing that fee simple title to the land was vested in the purchaser because the trial court was authorized to find that the executor's prior quiet title action failed to convey any interest in the property to the executor and to decree that the judgment entered in that action be removed as a cloud upon the purchaser's title when the prior quiet title proceeding was procedurally deficient; the quiet title petition was not verified as required by O.C.G.A. § 23-3-62(b), it did not include a plat of survey of the land as required by § 23-3-62(c), a lis pendens was not filed contemporaneously with the filing of the petition as required by § 23-3-62(d), the petition was not submitted to an authorized special master as required by O.C.G.A. § 23-3-63, and the record failed to establish service on any party as required by O.C.G.A. § 23-3-65(b). Mann v. Blalock, 286 Ga. 541, 690 S.E.2d 375 (2010).

Dismissal for failure to state a claim with submission to special master.

- In a borrower's quiet title action against two lenders, the documents attached to the complaint and answer reflected that the borrower had granted two deeds to secure debt to the lenders, and the borrower therefore did not have legal title to the property absent evidence that the borrower had satisfied the debts; therefore, dismissal of the borrower's petition under O.C.G.A. § 23-3-62 was proper. The trial court was not required to refer the case to a special master prior to dismissal for failure to state a claim. Montia v. First-Citizens Bank & Trust Co., 341 Ga. App. 867, 801 S.E.2d 907 (2017).

Payment of special master's fees not prerequisite to appeal.

- Provisions of O.C.G.A. § 9-7-22(c) requiring the payment of auditors' fees prior to the filing of an appeal did not apply to special masters appointed under the Quiet Title Act, O.C.G.A. § 23-3-60 et seq., pursuant to O.C.G.A. §§ 23-3-43 and23-3-63, and an appeal was not dismissed due to failure to pay the special master's fees. Davis v. Harpagon Co., LLC, 300 Ga. App. 644, 686 S.E.2d 259 (2009) was overruled to the extent it was to the contrary. Nix v. 230 Kirkwood Homes, LLC, 300 Ga. 91, 793 S.E.2d 402 (2016).

Cited in Georgia, Ashburn, Sylvester & Camilla Ry. v. Johnson, 226 Ga. 358, 174 S.E.2d 895 (1970); McGee v. Craig, 230 Ga. 553, 198 S.E.2d 165 (1973); South DeKalb Family Branch of YMCA of Metro. Atlanta, Inc. v. Frazier, 236 Ga. 903, 225 S.E.2d 890 (1976); Thornton v. Reb Properties, Inc., 237 Ga. 59, 226 S.E.2d 741 (1976); Higdon v. Gates, 238 Ga. 105, 231 S.E.2d 345 (1976); Capers v. Camp, 244 Ga. 7, 257 S.E.2d 517 (1979); In re Rivermist Homeowners Ass'n, 244 Ga. 515, 260 S.E.2d 897 (1979); Walters v. McNeese, 257 Ga. 440, 360 S.E.2d 268 (1987); DRST Holdings, Ltd. v. Agio Corp., 282 Ga. 903, 655 S.E.2d 586 (2008); Whipple v. Hatcher, 283 Ga. 309, 658 S.E.2d 585 (2008); Rhymes v. E. Atlanta Church of God, Inc., 284 Ga. 145, 663 S.E.2d 670 (2008); Keever v. Dellinger, 291 Ga. 860, 734 S.E.2d 874 (2012); Wyatt v. Hizer, 337 Ga. App. 767, 788 S.E.2d 866 (2016); Republic Title Company, LLC v. Freeport Title and Guaranty, Inc., 351 Ga. App. 408, 829 S.E.2d 172 (2019), cert. denied, No. S19C1616, 2020 Ga. LEXIS 168 (Ga. 2020); Tyner v. Edge, 355 Ga. App. 196, 843 S.E.2d 632 (2020), cert. denied, No. S20C1315, 2020 Ga. LEXIS 969 (Ga. 2020).

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