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Wagner v. Robinson

Court of Appeals of Georgia

September 26, 2014

WAGNER
v.
ROBINSON

Contract. Walker Superior Court. Before Judge House.

William G. Schwall, for appellant.

Townley & Lindsay, Thomas F. Lindsay, for appellee.

MCFADDEN, Judge. Andrews, P. J., and Ray, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 190

McFadden, Judge.

Willard P. Wagner appeals the grant of summary judgment to Nancy E. Robinson in this action arising from Wagner's work on property owned by Robinson. Wagner argues that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment because issues of material fact are in dispute. We find that Robinson has not shown by undisputed fact that Wagner is barred from enforcing the parties' 2008 oral agreement or that Wagner did not perform his part of the oral agreement. But we agree with Robinson that the evidence that Wagner failed to file notice of his lien action is undisputed. We therefore affirm in part and reverse in part the trial court's grant of summary judgment to Robinson.

A moving party is entitled to summary judgment " if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." OCGA § 9-11-56 (c). We apply a de novo standard of review " to an appeal from a grant of summary judgment, and we view the evidence, and all reasonable conclusions and inferences drawn from it, in the light most favorable to the nonmovant." Moore v. Camara, 317 Ga.App. 651, 652 (732 S.E.2d 319) (2012).

Viewed in this light, the evidence shows that in May 2007, Wagner and Robinson's father agreed that Wagner would renovate and repair the father's residence. In exchange, the father was to give Wagner a certain piece of property. The father's health was declining, and prior to his death Robinson was involved in the renovation work in that she bought materials and would sometimes pay Wagner and other workers. The father died in October 2008, and Robinson inherited the property.

Some time between January and March 2011, Wagner and Robinson signed a written agreement. They acknowledged that they had entered an oral agreement in approximately May 2008 under which Wagner would perform certain home remodeling projects for Robinson in exchange for the future conveyance of clear title to the property that had been part of the agreement with the father. They also acknowledged that Wagner had performed all the work satisfactorily. Nonetheless, Robinson did not transfer the property to Wagner.

Wagner filed this lawsuit in October 2011, seeking enforcement of his agreement with

Page 191

Robinson to perform the work in exchange for [329 Ga.App. 170] the property. He also asserted claims for breach of contract, compensation under a theory of quantum meruit, and foreclosure of his lien. Robinson answered the complaint and filed a counterclaim, alleging that Wagner had committed fraud by representing that he was a Georgia-licensed contractor and that he had failed to complete the work in a satisfactory manner.

In July 2013, Wagner amended his complaint. He alleged that once Robinson's father died in October 2008, Robinson and Wagner entered an oral agreement to complete the work and that they reduced the oral agreement to writing in January 2011. He sought enforcement of the January 2011 contract. As in the original complaint, he also asserted claims for breach of contract, compensation under a theory of quantum meruit, and foreclosure of his lien. Robinson answered the amended complaint, this time adding as a defense that Wagner was not a Georgia-licensed contractor at the time he entered the agreement, ...


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