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Gresham v. Harris

Court of Appeals of Georgia

November 3, 2014

GRESHAM
v.
HARRIS et al

Cert. applied for.

Renewal action. Fulton Superior Court. Before Judge Schwall.

Judgment reversed.

Antonio L. Thomas, for appellant.

The Chapar Firm, Albert A. Chapar, Jr., for appellees.

ANDREWS, Presiding Judge. McFadden and Ray, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 401

Andrews, Presiding Judge.

Norris Gresham appeals from the trial court's grant of summary judgment to Clifford Harris, Jr. a/k/a " TI," Echo Studios, LLC, Grand Hustle, LLC, Grand Hustle Management, LLC, and King of da South, Inc. (the " Harris Defendants" ) based on the expiration of the applicable statute of limitation. Gresham argues that the trial court erred in granting the motion because his renewal action was timely filed. We agree and reverse.

The issue on appeal involves the proper construction of the renewal statute, OCGA § 9-2-61, and we apply a de novo standard

Page 402

of review. Hankla v. Postell, 293 Ga. 692, 693 (749 S.E.2d 726) (2013).

Gresham initially filed suit against the Harris Defendants and others on November 8, 2010. He filed a voluntary dismissal without prejudice of that suit as to all but one defendant on July 11, 2012. After the defendants moved to treat the voluntary dismissal as a motion, the trial court granted the dismissal without prejudice as to all defendants except one. That order was entered on August 12, 2012. A final order and judgment as to the remaining defendant was entered on October 23, 2012.

On February 11, 2013, Gresham filed his renewal action, alleging that it was substantially the same cause of action that had previously been voluntarily dismissed. Gresham asserted causes of action for assault and battery, conspiracy to harm, negligent failure to intervene, and punitive damages based on events that occurred on September 8, 2010. The Harris Defendants answered and asserted the statute of limitation as an affirmative defense. They then filed a motion for summary judgment based on the expiration ...


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