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Georgia Supreme Court

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Public Employees Don’t Owe Your Kids This Duty

Mon, 06/30/2014

May v Georgia: May is a school teacher who, while catching up with a student who had recently transferred to a new school, discovered that the 16-year-old had a sexual relationship with another former teacher. May did not report the events and was charged by accusation for not upholding her duty as a public school employee. May argued that since the student was no longer registered at the school and no longer a student of hers that she had no duty.


The Georgia Supreme Court ruled in favor of May, reversing the decision of the Trial Court. The Trial Court had ruled in favor of the State of Georgia, stating that as a teacher, May and all public employees regardless of their job location, have a duty to all children to report any abuse of a child regardless of their personal relationship with the child. The Supreme Court reversed this decision, stating that May had no legal obligation to report the sexual abuse.

Read the full decision here

False Imprisonment and Arrest On College Campus

Mon, 06/16/2014

Hartley v. Agnes Scott College, et al.: Maxwell, an Agnes Scott College student, reported that she had been beaten and sexually abused by Amanda Hartley on two different occasions. Without addition investigation, police arrested Hartley on charges of aggravated sexual battery. She was detained for nearly a month. Months later, all charges against Hartley were dropped because she was not in town at all during the times of the reported abuse. Hartley filed suit against the College because the officers were acting under its jurisdiction during her false arrest and imprisonment.


The Supreme Court of Georgia overturned the decision of the Court of Appeals by ruling that under the Georgia Tort Claims Act, the officers are not entitled to immunity and that they were not acting for any state government agency. Through this decision, the Court separated the police officers from the College, leaving the police officers liable for the accusations.

Read the full decision here

Right to a Judge? A Jury? A Choice?

Tue, 04/22/2014

Smith v Georgia: In Zigan v. Georgia, the Supreme Court ruled that the State is within its power to determine whether a case is heard by a judge or by trial, regardless of what the accused wishes. Ebony Smith was convicted of murder after having a trial by jury based on a decision by the State. Smith filed suit against Georgia to challenge the consequences of Zigan v. Georgia and ask the Supreme Court to reverse the precedent and remand her trial to be tried by a judge.


The Supreme Court, finding no reversible error in Zigan v. Georgia, or with the precedent that it established, affirmed the trial court’s decision in his case.

Read the full decision here