City of Norcross v. Gwinnett County

Court: Georgia Court of Appeals
Case Number: A20A1033
Decision Date: May 11, 2020
Case Type: Annexation
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 to maintain and repair. The county sought a declaration that the city was responsible for repairing the drainage system as the drainage system was now located within the city limits following annexation. The trial court granted summary judgment to the county and denied summary judgment to the. The city appealed.
 
On appeal the Court held that the county, rather than the city, was responsible for maintaining the drainage system, even following annexation by the city, because the county had been expressly granted easements over the private property surrounding the drainage system for the purpose of maintaining, and operating the drainage system. The instrument conveying the easements to the county explicitly stated that the county would maintain the system, and the easements were not abandoned, terminated, or transferred when the location was annexed. Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 36-31-11.1 private property of the county does not transfer to the city upon annexation. See, Fulton County v. City of Sandy Springs, 295 Ga. 16, (2014). The Court reversed the lower court’s judgment and found in favor of the City.