Legal Database

The Legal Database is a compilation of state and federal court cases, as well as Federal administrative rulings and Georgia Attorney General opinions. The cases, rulings and opinions cited impact, or have the potential to impact, the operation of Georgia's municipal governments.

The contents of GMA's quarterly publication, "Legal Briefs", are archived in this database.
The write-ups contained in this database are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. Consult with your city attorney to obtain legal advice about a proposed course of action.
Case Name
Decision Date
Georgia Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Georgia held in favor of local government in a case considering whether assurances made to a property owner by a county planning director resulted in vested rights to develop property in a particular manner. The plaintiff, E. Howard Carson, met with Forsyth County ...
May 3, 2022
Georgia Supreme Court
In this case, the Supreme Court of Georgia granted certiorari to determine whether a common law right exist to allow private property owners to immobilize vehicles left on their property without permission. The Defendants appealed the trial court’s decision which concluded that ...
Dec 14, 2021
Richmond County Superior
The Augusta Chronicle and three other local media outlets sued the City of Augusta for declining to release records identifying already discounted applicants for the position of city fire chief, pursuant to state open records law. The suit sought a preliminary injunction demanding the ...
May 5, 2021
Georgia Supreme Court
This case involved the Georgia Service Delivery Strategy Act (Georgia Code § 36-70-1) and a dispute between the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners and the cities within Lowndes County, including the city of Valdosta.The county and the cities operated under a service delivery ...
Sep 28, 2020
11th Circuit
This suit involved a race discrimination claim against the city. The claimant alleged the city violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it subjected James Williamson, a 30-year Black city employee, to a series of unwarranted disciplinary actions, including two unpaid ...
Sep 15, 2020
11th Circuit
According to Luke's complaint, in March 2017, a man named Lewis and two other individuals perpetrated a drive-by shooting of a cookout where Luke was present. Unarmed, Luke dove to the ground for safety. During the course of the shooting, Luke did not encourage others to fire at the ...
Sep 15, 2020
2nd Circuit
In this matter, Plaintiff-Appellee Up State Tower Co., L.L.C. (“Up State”) claimed that Kiantone violated 47 U.S.C. § 332(c)(7)(B)(iii) in denying Up State's application for a cell tower permit because the reasons for the denial were not supported by substantial ...
Sep 10, 2020
9th Circuit
In this case the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) largely prevailed over state and local governments by using its preemption authority under the Communications Act of 1934 to remove perceived barriers to deployment of broadband infrastructure. The Ninth Circuit turned ...
Aug 12, 2020
United States Court of Federal Claims
The Housing Authority for the City of Slidell sued the Federal government in the Court of Federal Claims, asserting claims arising out of Department of Housing and Urban Development contract called an Annual Contributions Contract (“ACC”). The Federal government moved to dismiss ...
Jul 27, 2020
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia
In this case the court found that although a police officer— who was later fired and pleaded guilty to simple assault charges—had no reason to shoot into a car leaving the Magic City strip club in 2015, claims against the city could not be sustained because there was no evidence ...
Jul 23, 2020
U.S. District Court, District of Maine
This case concerns a First Amendment challenge brought by internet service providers (“ISPs”) to a Maine law requiring the ISPs to obtain customer consent before using, selling, or disclosing their customers’ personal information.The Maine statute also holds that an ISP ...
Jul 15, 2020
Georgia Supreme Court
This case concerns a redevelopment plan which the City of Atlanta adopted for a blighted area known as The Gulch. The area was assiggned for redevelopment under the Urban Redevelopment Law (O.C.G.A. 36-61-1 et seq.) and as an enterprise zone under the Enterprise Zone Employment Law (O.C.G.A ...
Jun 29, 2020
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia
For the past seventy years, the City of Alpharetta had honored war veterans each August with its annual Old Soldiers Day Parade (the “Parade”). The Parade began after the Civil War and originally honored Confederate soldiers. Upon the resurgence of the Parade in 1952 after World ...
Jun 26, 2020
11th Circuit
This lawsuit was filed by a group of individuals and organizations who objected to the City of Lakeland’s decision to relocate a Confederate monument from one city park to another. Plaintiffs contended that the relocation violated their rights under the First Amendment’s ...
Jun 22, 2020
Superior Court of DeKalb County
Plaintiff, in his official capacity as City Attorney of the City of Decatur, filed a Complaint to Abate a Public Nuisance as well as an Emergency Motion for Interlocutory Abatement of Nuisance. The Complaint argued that as the Confederate obelisk located on real property owned by DeKalb ...
Jun 12, 2020
11th Circuit
Peter Attwood sued Florida Representative Charles W. Clemons, Sr. for blocking him on Twitter and on Facebook. In response, Clemons asserted Eleventh Amendment immunity and absolute legislative immunity, and moved to dismiss the complaint. The district court denied those assertions of ...
Jun 11, 2020
11th Circuit
The Plaintiffs were aspiring tour guides in Charleston, South Carolina. Pursuant to the Charleston’s Tour Guide Licensing Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) before leading a paid tour through Charleston, a prospective guide must obtain a license requiring the passage of ...
Jun 11, 2020
U.S. Supreme Court
In this Article III standing case, the U.S. Supreme Court held 5-4 that the plaintiffs lacked standing because they did not have a concrete stake in the lawsuit. Plaintiffs Thole and Smith are retirees in U.S. Bank’s defined benefit retirement plan, and receive a fixed monthly ...
Jun 1, 2020
United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Central Division
This case involves six Plaintiffs that claimed they were illegally catheterized so that police could test their urine for drugs. After discovery, all the Defendants moved for summary judgment on all claims, and all the Plaintiffs moved for summary judgment on their liability ...
May 12, 2020
Georgia Court of Appeals
This case involves a commercial property owner who brought an action against the city and county, in which Plaintiff asserted claims for inverse condemnation and nuisance and sought damages caused by a damaged drainage system, which the Plaintiff argued was the county’s responsibility ...
May 11, 2020
Georgia Supreme Court
Georgia's Code Revision Commission, acting on behalf of the Georgia Legislature and State of Georgia, brought an action against a nonprofit organization, Public.Resource.Org (PRO), the purpose of which is facilitating public access to legal materials, alleging that ...
Apr 27, 2020
This matter arises from an automobile collision. Plaintiff alleged that a City of McDonough employee driving a city-owned vehicle, negligently caused the accident, injuring Plaintiff and damaging his vehicle. However, the pertinent issue in this case concerns the sufficiency of the ante ...
Apr 20, 2020
11th Circuit
Victims of a nightclub shooting and their estates brought a § 1983 action against the city and a city police officer alleging violations of due process and Fourth Amendment rights, unlawful detention, and failure to train employees. The District Court granted the Defendants&rsquo ...
Apr 6, 2020
Georgia Supreme Court
A Plaintiff sued the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners for violating the Georgia Open Meetings Act, when they voted to raise members’ salaries by 60 percent without providing proper notice of its intent to pass the pay increase. The trial court dismissed the claim. The Plaintiff ...
Mar 13, 2020
Georgia Supreme Court
In this case, the Plaintiff was injured in an accident caused by a man fleeing the police. The Plaintiff sued the Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS), alleging its officers’ actions contributed to the accident and his injuries. The Supreme Court of Georgia addressed the question ...
Feb 28, 2020