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Appeals 2017-08-15T18:44:52+00:00

Reported Appellate Decisions

in which Mr. Clark represented a party in the appeal

We granted Timothy Stinson’s application for a discretionary appeal of his probation revocation. Stinson contends that the trial court erred in revoking his probation because he was not given credit for the time he spent in a Drug Court rehabilitation program. On this issue of first impression, we hold that a defendant who elects to plead guilty and undergo alternative treatment in a Drug Court program offered under OCGA § 16-13-2(a) is not entitled to credit for time spent in treatment if he is subsequently terminated from the program and sentenced on his original crime. Thus we affirm the trial court.

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Shawntina Jones appeals the trial court’s denial of her motion for discharge and acquittal, alleging that her Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial has been violated. For the following reasons, we reverse.

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The mother and father of D.O.R. appeal the termination of their parental rights, which we have consolidated for consideration. The father contends that the evidence does not clearly and convincingly establish that he was unfit or unable to care for the child. The mother contends that the evidence does not establish that the child’s deprivation would continue or that continued deprivation would harm the child, and also contends her rights to due process were violated. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the juvenile court’s decision to terminate the parental rights of both parents.

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Following a bench trial in which he represented himself, James Michael Yancey was convicted of loitering or prowling. He appeals, arguing that he is entitled to a new trial because the State has failed to meet its burden of showing that he validly waived his right to counsel or his right to a jury trial. Finding merit to these contentions, we reverse.

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Following a jury trial, Jepter R. Butler was convicted on one count of (misdemeanor) furnishing alcoholic beverages to a person under 21 years of age. He appeals his conviction and the denial of his motion for new trial, arguing that the trial court erred in failing to give several requested jury charges, in allowing the State to make improper remarks during closing argument, and in allowing the State to amend the accusation without notice. For the reasons set forth below, we reverse.

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The mother of A.R.K.L. filed a petition in juvenile court to terminate the parental rights of the child’s father. The juvenile court granted the petition, and the father appeals. He contends that (1) the juvenile court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to rule on the petition because the petition was actually a disguised custody matter; (2) the juvenile court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to rule on the petition because the petition was actually a disguised adoption matter; and (3) the juvenile court erred in denying his motion for a continuance. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

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Phyllis Terrell appeals after a jury awarded her former fiancé Christopher Pippart $94,000 on his quantum meruit claim and $12,000 in attorney fees. For reasons that follow, we affirm the quantum meruit award, vacate the award of attorney fees, and remand.

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Iane and Lydia Sastre appeal from the trial court’s order dismissing, without prejudice, their petition for adoption of A.L.R. (the “child”), arguing that the trial court erred in finding that the Sastres were not Georgia residents and in allowing the Lamar County Department of Family and Children Services (the “Department”) to object to the adoption proceedings. Discerning error, we reverse.

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In these consolidated cases, Bernard Henry Robinson and Ralph Woods, Sr., were indicted for murder and other offenses in connection with the beating, stabbing, and shooting death of John Steven Mitchell. Robinson and Woods moved to dismiss their indictments on the grounds that their constitutional rights to a speedy trial had been violated. The trial court denied these motions, prompting these appeals. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

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Lesli Huso, who wishes to adopt three-year-old J.M.L. appeals from the juvenile court’s order appointing the girl’s foster mother, Ava Deverger, as her permanent guardian. See former OCGA § 15-11-30.1. In an earlier appeal in this case, we affirmed an order in which the juvenile court determined that it was in J.M.L.’s best interest to award Deverger permanent guardianship. In the Interest of J.M.L., 330 Ga.App. XXIII (Case No. A15A0315) (Jan. 28, 2015) (unpublished).

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This is an interim appellate review of a case in which the State seeks the death penalty. John David Clay has been indicted for malice murder and false imprisonment in connection with the death of Janice Swain in the early morning hours of March 4, 2007.

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In December 2007, Bobby Lavon Buckner was indicted in Chatham County for the kidnapping, molestation, and murder of 12-year-old Ashleigh Moore. Four years later, Buckner still had not been brought to trial, so he filed a motion to dismiss his indictment, arguing that he had been denied his constitutional right to a speedy trial.

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This interlocutory appeal presents a facial constitutional challenge to subsection (e) of the Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act, OCGA § 16-12-100.2, which criminalizes the offense of “obscene Internet contact with a child.” Appellant Jack Scott was indicted in January 2015 on two counts of that offense, arising from alleged sexually explicit online communications in which he took part in late 2013 with a minor under the age of 16. Scott thereafter filed a general demurrer, contending that OCGA § 16-12-100.2 (e) is unconstitutionally overbroad in violation of the right to free speech guaranteed under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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This interlocutory appeal presents a facial constitutional challenge to OCGA § 20-2-1182, which criminalizes upbraiding, insulting, or abusing a public school teacher, administrator, or bus driver in the presence of a pupil while on the premises of a public school or school bus. Appellant Michael Antonio West was arrested and charged under OCGA § 20-2-1182, and he thereafter filed a general demurrer, contending, among other things, that the statute is unconstitutionally overbroad in violation of the right to free speech guaranteed under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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Christopher Courtney was charged with sexual exploitation of children by distributing child pornography from his computer. We granted Courtney’s application for interlocutory appeal to consider whether the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress identifying internet subscriber information obtained by police pursuant to an administrative subpoena issued under OCGA § 16-9-108 (a). Because Courtney lacks standing to challenge the search of his internet provider (“IP”) for identifying information, we affirm.

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