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A Blog about Real Estate, How it Can Be Damaged, and Disputes Over its Transfer

This blog is a personal blog written to discuss legal issues affecting Georgia property, and how it is damaged, transferred, and fought over. I write this partly to keep abreast of the law, and partly to offer a forum for my writing. In order to find content, I often analyze Georgia Supreme Court decisions. I try to update this blog as I can, but writing is a time consuming process.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Counties Have Discretion to Abandon Roads

In an opinion issued on February 28, 2011, the Georgia Supreme Court reviewed a trial courts entry of an injunction against a board of county commissioners preventing them from abandoning a road.  Scarborough v. Hunter, Appeal Case No. S11A03476 (Feb. 28, 2011).   The plaintiffs, who were presumably landowners affecting by the road abandonment, filed suit against the Stephens County Board of Commissioners to prevent them from abandoning Winding Bluff Road as a county road, thereby returning title to the road to the landowner(s) along the road.    The Stephens County Superior Court issued an injunction against the abandonment before it was completed.  The Georgia Supreme Court reversed.

The case stands for two important propositions.  First, the court emphasized that a county board of commissioners has discretion to make a determination that a road is no longer needed by the public.  Second, the court held that a court should confine its review of a road abandonment matter to the point in time after the abandonment.  In other words, a court should not enjoin the abandonment before a board of commissioners has a chance to follow through with the statutory procedure for an abandonment.

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