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 that the DeKalb County School District and the DeKalb County Board of Education breached a contract with the District's employees when they ceased employer contributions to the District's 403(b) retirement plan in 2009. The Board had adopted a ...
Oct 21, 2019
Georgia Court of Appeals
This case was filed by residents of a subdivision who brought the following claims against the County: (1) negligence of the County to properly oversee the development of the subdivision that violated the County’s own policies; (2) nuisance arising from the County’s failure to ...
Sep 23, 2019
11th Circuit
After receiving authorization from the Alabama legislature, the City of Phenix City adopted an ordinance permitting the city to install and operate red light cameras. The operating scheme would have videos and photos sent to a private company for review which would, in turn, be sent to a ...
Jul 18, 2019
8th Circuit
The Eighth Circuit held that officials of the City of Springdale, Arkansas, were not entitled to either qualified or statutory immunity after they made decisions to release information identifying victims of childhood sexual abuse to the press. In 2006, members of the Duggar family, stars ...
Jul 12, 2019
11th Circuit
The Eleventh Circuit held that a child’s right to not be shot in the leg was not clearly established after a police officer shot the child while attempting to shoot a family dog. Vickers was a deputy sheriff in Coffee County, Georgia when he took part in an operation to apprehend a ...
Jul 10, 2019
2nd Circuit
The Second Circuit held that the President of the United States had acted in a governmental capacity when he blocked users from accessing tweets sent from his Twitter account and that such Twitter account was a public forum. The court did not consider or decide whether an elected official ...
Jul 9, 2019
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia
The Northern District of Georgia allowed a suit to proceed against the City of Doraville in which plaintiffs argued that the city’s “institutional reliance on revenue from fines and fees incentivizes the city to ticket, convict, and fine defendants, regardless of the nature of ...
Jul 9, 2019
11th Circuit
The Eleventh Circuit held that Brevard County's practice of using volunteers for providing invocations at the start of public meetings violated the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. The county practice tended to favor monotheistic religions because speakers were ...
Jul 8, 2019
U.S. Supreme Court
The Supreme Court held that Tennessee’s statutory scheme which required a two-year durational-residency for the issuance of an initial retail liquor store license violated the Commerce Clause. Persons and companies wishing to operate retail liquor stores required applicants for an ...
Jun 26, 2019
Georgia Court of Appeals
The Georgia Court of Appeals held that the evidence presented in criminal trial was insufficient to support a finding that coin operated amusement machines (COAMs) from the defendant’s business had been converted into commercial gambling devices. Bartlett owned a restaurant in Byron ...
Jun 25, 2019
Georgia Supreme Court
Sovereign immunity does not bar suits between political subdivisions of the state, such as cities and counties, according to the Supreme Court of Georgia. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Airport) is owned and operated by the City of Atlanta but is located in Clayton County ...
Jun 24, 2019
U.S. Supreme Court
The Supreme Court held that a property owner has an actionable Fifth Amendment takings claim after a landowner brought a Section 1983 action against the Township of Scott alleging that an ordinance authorizing officials to enter upon any property within the township to determine the ...
Jun 21, 2019
U.S. Supreme Court
The United States Supreme Court held that a 32-foot tall Latin cross located in a public park did not violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. In 1925, shortly after the end of World War I, the cross was built using private funds on private land in Bladensburg, Maryland, to ...
Jun 20, 2019
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
Dixon and others were detained in St. Louis jails after arrest. When a person is arrested in St. Louis a bond commissioner employed by the city makes a recommendation to a judge to set bond to secure the arrestee’s court appearance. In making the recommendation, the commissioner ...
Jun 11, 2019
6th Circuit
The Sixth Circuit held that summary judgment on grounds of qualified immunity was not warranted in a case where a female arrestee was forcibly strip-searched by an entirely male team of law enforcement officers. Fazica was arrested for drunk driving by the Bloomfield, Michigan Police ...
Jun 10, 2019
11th Circuit
The Eleventh Circuit held that the district court's ruling granting the City of Atlanta summary judgment in a federal civil rights complaint against the City of Atlanta dismissing a federal civil rights case for alleged violations of the First AMendment and the city's zoning ...
Jun 7, 2019
11th Circuit
After the City of Miami Beach discovered a 13-year old had been trafficked and forced to dance nude at an adult club in the city, Club Madonna, the city took emergency administrative action and suspended the club's business license. The fully nude strip club subsequently filed a Section ...
May 24, 2019
Georgia Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Georgia reversed the Georgia Court of Appeals and held that an antidegradation analysis was not needed to be conducted by the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) before issuing a permit for a land application system (LAS) to the City of Guyton. A property owner ...
May 20, 2019
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