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
11th Circuit
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that the City of Miami adequately pled proximate cause in relation to some of the city's economic injuries when the pleadings were held to the standard required by the Fair Housing Act. Miami had brought lawsuits against Wells Fargo and Bank of ...
May 3, 2019
6th Circuit
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the use of chalk to mark tires by parking enforcement officials for the City of Saginaw constituted a search under the Fourth Amendment and that using such chalk to mark tires without a warrant constituted an unreasonable search. Taylor ...
Apr 22, 2019
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama
The United States District Court, Southern District of Alabama denied a motion from Bellsouth Telecommunications, LLC (Bellsouth) to enforce a preliminary injunction and award fees, costs, and other appropriate relief against the City of Daphne, Alabama. In 2017, the city enacted an ...
Apr 4, 2019
California Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of California held that a California state statute that explicitly allowed telephone companies to construct lines and erect equipment in municipal right-of-way (ROW) did not preempt a local ordinance which placed aesthetic requirements on an telephone equipment placed ...
Apr 4, 2019
Georgia Court of Appeals
The Georgia Court of Appeals held that a previous decision of the court in Shelnutt v. City of Savannah, 333 Ga.App. 446 (2015), which held that the city's pay policy was not subject to the city's handbook's disclaimer was not dicta and was binding upon appeal. The court ...
Mar 14, 2019
Georgia Court of Appeals
The Georgia Court of Appeals held that the creation of the Marietta Natural Gas, LLC (MNG) by the Marietta Board of Light and Waterworks (MBLW) and its subsequent application for a natural gas certificate from the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) was an ultra vires act under the city ...
Mar 11, 2019
2nd Circuit
The 2nd Circuit held that a town ordinance which regulated the storage, handling, and distribution of hazardous substances violated the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act (ICCTA) because its restrictions did not meaningfully protect public health and safety to fit within an ...
Mar 7, 2019
Georgia Court of Appeals
The Georgia Court of Appeals held that a county's official designated organ could not be published in a neighboring state. Catoosa County, Georgia sought to change its legal organ from CCN, a part of Rome News Media, which is a weekly newspaper that had been the official legal organ of ...
Mar 5, 2019
Georgia Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Georgia held that a 1979 constitutional amendment violated the single-subject rule and was thereby, unconstitutional. In 1979, the Georgia General Assembly adopted a local constitutional amendment concerning the creation of an industrial district in Fulton County ...
Mar 4, 2019
Georgia Court of Appeals
After the Dougherty County Superior Court denied the City of Albany's motion for judgment on the pleadings the city filed a motion for interlocutory appeal with the Georgia Court of Appeals. AutoNation had filed suit against the city related to damages it suffered after its property ...
Feb 28, 2019
Superior Court of Cobb County
The Cobb County Superior Court denied an application for quo warranto challenging the ability of two appointed members of the Immigration Enforcement Review Board (IERB) to remain in their appointed seats beyond their terms. The petitioner, King, argued that state law provided for board ...
Feb 25, 2019
Superior Court of Fulton County
After Matthew Cardinale, a candidate for an open seat on the City of Atlanta city council, was disqualified from running for the seat pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 21-2-6(e) by the city's elections superintendent, he filed a petition for an emergency hearing in Fulton County Superior ...
Feb 22, 2019
Georgia Court of Appeals
The Georgia Court of Appeals held that a trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that Stardust, 3007, LLC and its owner were in criminal contempt for violation of a permanent injunction. The court held that commission of any of the acts prohibited by the permanent injunction ...
Feb 20, 2019
Georgia Court of Appeals
Carson purchased property in Forsyth County in a zoning district which allowed for property to be developed into residential lots with a minimum lot size of 9000 square feet. A few months later the county put in place a 30-day moratorium on land-development permits for property in that zone ...
Feb 20, 2019
U.S. Supreme Court
The United States Supreme Court held that the Eighth Amendment's Excessive Fines Clause applied to the individual states. Timbs pled guilty in an Indiana state court to dealing in a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit theft. When he was arrested the police seized Timbs's ...
Feb 20, 2019
Georgia Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Georgia held that Article I, Section 1, Paragraph XVI of the Georgia Constitution provided protections that were not provided by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution and, as a result, portions of the state's implied consent law which allowed ...
Feb 18, 2019
Georgia Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Georgia held that Cobb and Gwinnett counties did not have the legal authority to bring a lawsuit to collect a charge imposed on subscribers to offset the costs of E-911 services. State law provided that service suppliers, on behalf of local governments, were required to ...
Feb 18, 2019
Georgia Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Georgia held that a county zoning ordinance did not address rentals of residential houses and was unconstitutionally vague in violation of the due process rights of May. May built a vacation home in the county in 2008 and began renting out her home to others for short ...
Feb 18, 2019
Georgia Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Georgia held that county animal control employees could not be held liable for the death of a woman attached and killed by a neighbor's dog. Jason Wyno's wife, Misty, was mauled by a dog owned by a neighbor in 2011. In the years before the attack a number of ...
Feb 18, 2019
11th Circuit
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that a county ordinance which required a property owner to dedicate property to the county within a transportation corridor as a condition of obtaining a development permit did not violate the property owner's due process rights. The court also ...
Feb 13, 2019
Georgia Court of Appeals
The Georgia Court of Appeals issued a ruling that requires law enforcement officers in Georgia to write down specific information when completing the Uniform Traffic Citation in order to support a successful prosecution. Strickland had been charged with “following too closely in ...
Jan 25, 2019
United States Court of Federal Claims
The City of Wilmington, Delaware, brought an action to recover "reasonable service charges" under the Clean Water Act for control and abatement of stormwater pollution. For nearly six years the city had assessed service charges on five properties owned by the Army Corps of ...
Jan 3, 2019
District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District
In March of 2017, the City of Miami adopted a resolution on short-term rentals based upon the city's zoning ordinance which prohibited rentals of anything less than a month in specific single-family residential zones. AirBnb and several city residents who used AirBnb filed suit for ...
Dec 5, 2018
Georgia Court of Appeals
A group of citizens and taxpayers in Fulton County sued the Fulton County Board of Tax Assessors (Board) for a writ of mandamus and injunctive and declaratory relief in a dispute over whether the Board exercised its duty to investigate and determine whether the interest of the Atlanta ...
Dec 3, 2018
7th Circuit
Taylor, a former police officer for the Town of Lawrenceburg, Indiana, ran and won an election for city council in November 2011. While running for office Taylor appeared at a campaign event in full uniform and represented on his police time sheet that he was on duty during the campaign ...
Nov 20, 2018