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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.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Georgia Supreme Court Upholds Discretion of County to Abandon Road

In Scarborough v. Hunter, S13A0060 (July 11, 2013), the Georgia Supreme Court upheld the discretion of a North Georgia county to abandon a public road due to the expenses that would have been incurred to maintain the road.   The court relied on an application of the language in O.C.G.A. 32-7-2(b)(1) including a 2010 amendment by the state legislature.  The decision held that the trial court had committed an error in overruling the abandonment.

The appellate court held the statute gave the board of commissioners of the county discretion to abandon the road where the facts indicated problems in the road existed that were traceable to a developer's alleged failure to properly construct the road prior to dedication and acceptance by the county.

The Supreme Court also went on to apply new language in the abandonment statute that was enacted in 2010 by the Georgia General Assembly.  The legislature added language to the abandonment law that now enables local government to abandon roads when to do so is deemed otherwise in the public interest.   The prior version of the law required the showing of a substantial public purpose.  The old language had given local governments pause in exercising their abandonment powers.

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