Georgia

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Titlesort descending Summary
Holcomb v. Long

In this case, Michael Holcomb filed a civil action against Charles Long alleging that Long’s negligence in saddling one of the horses that he owned resulted in Holcomb falling from the horse and suffering serious injuries. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Long holding that he was entitled to civil immunity under Georgia’s Injuries From Equine or Llama Activities Act. Holcomb appealed the trial court’s decision arguing that Long’s negligence was not covered by the act. The court of appeals reviewed the case and affirmed the trial court’s decision. The court of appeals determined that the issue with the saddle that caused Holcomb to fall did not fall under any of the exceptions under the Act that would allow Long to be civilly liable. As a result, the court of appeals affirmed the grant of summary judgment for Long.

Huff v. Dyer


In this Georgia case, the plaintiff was injured from being bitten by defendants' dog who was chained to the bed of their pickup truck while the defendants were inside an adjacent restaurant. The plaintiff sued defendants, claiming that they failed to warn her of their dog's dangerous propensities and that they committed negligence per se by violating the state's strict liability statute (OCGA § 51-2-7) and the Hall County Animal Control Ordinance. A jury found in favor of the defendants. The court found that the evidence was therefore more than sufficient to support the jury's conclusion that defendants' dog was “under restraint” for purposes of the ordinance. Further, there was no evidence that the owners had knowledge of the dog's vicious propensity. Affirmed.

I.B. Sirmans v. State


Defendant was convicted of four counts of animal cruelty and one count of simple assault. The portion of the sentence depriving defendant of animals which the State failed to demonstrate were abused vacated and case remanded; judgment affirmed in all other respects because the motion to suppress was properly denied, and defendant was not prejudiced by the trial court's refusal to sever the trial.

Kringle v. Elliott


The plaintiff, on behalf of her then seven-year-old son, brought an action against the defendant Elliot for injuries the child sustained resulting from a bite by defendant's golden retriever. The trial court granted the defendant's motion for a directed verdict reasoning that because this was the dog's first bite of a human, there was there was no cause of action under Georgia's “first bite” rule. The appellate court found that the excluded evidence did not indicate the owner had any reason to suspect that the dog had a propensity to bite and thus, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting defendant's motion or directing a verdict. 

Moody v. State



Fifty-nine defendants appealed a judgment, which overruled a motion quash an indictment charging defendants with violating the dogfighting statute,

O.C.G.A. §

 

16-12-37

.

The court ruled the statute was not unconstitutionally overbroad, and that it required knowing and consensual involvement in dogfighting, therefore intent. The court further ruled that the law prohibited participation by gambling on the act, and the statute did not infringe on constitutionally protected conduct.


Morgan v. State


Deputy removed sick and malnourished animals from Defendant's property, initiated by a neighbor's call to the Sheriff.  Defendant was convicted in a jury trial of cruelty to animals.  He appealed, alleging illegal search and seizure based on lack of exigent circumstances to enter his property.  The court found that deputy's entry into the home was done with Morgan's lawful consent, and, as such, the subsequent seizure of the dogs in the home was based on the deputy's plain view observations in a location where he was authorized to be.

N.E. GA. PET RESCUE, INC. and DONALD L. GILBERT, plaintiffs v. ELBERT COUNTY, defendant


In this Georgia case, plaintiff ran a pet rescue out of his home. Defendant Elbert County enacted an ordinance effective in October 2005 that requires every owner or custodian of more than 15 dogs to obtain a kennel license from the Elbert County Animal Control Department. To obtain this license, the applicant must be ". . . accompanied by a written statement signed by the head of household of each residence located within 1,200 feet of the kennel or proposed location of the kennel, stating that said resident does not object to the location and operation of a kennel at said location or proposed location." Plaintiff was unable to obtain these signed statements. He then challenged the ordinance as unconstitutional and unenforceable because it conditions the granting of a license upon the completely arbitrary and subjective approval of neighbors and uses an unconstitutionally vague term ("head of household"). In the consent agreement between the parties, Elbert County agreed to stay enforcement of the ordinance and give plaintiff sufficient notice to again file injunctive relief if it chooses to amend the ordinance.

Overview of Georgia Great Ape Laws This is a short overview of Georgia Great Ape law.
Phillip v. State


Defendant was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment after entering a non-negotiated guilty plea to 14 counts of dogfighting and two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. Upon motion, the Court of Appeals held that the sentence was illegal and void because all counts, which were to run concurrently, had the maximum prison sentence of five years.

Pless v. State


In this Georgia case, the defendant was convicted by a jury in the trial court of two counts of failure to keep an animal under restraint and one count of allowing an animal to become a public nuisance. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the defendant's conviction with the exception of that portion of his sentence requiring him to reimburse the county for his court-appointed attorney fees. The Supreme Court of Georgia, however, reversed the appellate court's holding and ruled that the trial court was authorized to impose the reimbursement of attorney fees as part of the sentence. On remand, the appellate court vacated that portion of its opinion that reversed the imposition of attorney fees and adopted the Supreme Court's opinion as its own;  all other respects of the appellate decision, Pless v. State,

633 S.E.2d 340 (Ga. App., 2006),

remain undisturbed.

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