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Effingham County v. Roach

Court of Appeals of Georgia

October 30, 2014

EFFINGHAM COUNTY
v.
ROACH

Reconsideration denied November 20, 2014 -- Cert. applied for.

Page 601

Contract. Effingham Superior Court. Before Judge Turner.

Oliver Maner, Benjamin M. Perkins, for appellant.

Owen C. Murphy, for appellee.

BRANCH, Judge. Barnes, P. J., and Boggs, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 602

Branch, Judge.

Effingham County appeals the denial of its second motion for summary judgment in this breach of contract action brought by Benjamin R. Roach, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee for Darrell Morgan. The County applied to this Court for interlocutory appeal, and this Court granted the application, holding that because the trial court rendered a conclusive determination on an issue of sovereign immunity, the trial court's order was directly appealable as a collateral order.[1] For the following reasons, we affirm the denial of summary judgment.

To prevail on a motion for summary judgment,

the moving party must show that there exists no genuine issue of material fact, and that the undisputed facts, viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, demand [329 Ga.App. 806] judgment as a matter of law. Moreover, on appeal from the denial or grant of summary judgment the appellate court is to conduct a de novo review of the evidence to determine whether there exists a genuine issue of material fact, and whether the undisputed facts, viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, warrant judgment as a matter of law.

Benton v. Benton, 280 Ga. 468, 470 (629 S.E.2d 204) (2006) (citations omitted).We therefore view the evidence in the light most favorable to Roach/Morgan.

Background

So viewed, the record shows that in early 2005, Morgan became interested in purchasing and developing a 75-acre sub-tract of an over 500-acre parcel of property in Effingham County known as Grandview (a/k/a Mill Creek). Morgan contacted the County to determine whether it would provide water and sewer utilities (" w/s" ) to the property and whether it would be open to re-zoning the property for residential development. David Rutherford, the County Administrator, and Hubert Sapp, the County Board Chairman, told Morgan that the County would be providing w/s to the property, and County officials supported the re-zoning. Morgan approached the Bank of Newington to obtain financing to purchase the ...


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