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Stubblefield v. Stubblefield

Supreme Court of Georgia

February 2, 2015

STUBBLEFIELD et al.
v.
STUBBLEFIELD et al. (two cases)

Page 79

Equity. Forsyth Superior Court. Before Judge Dickinson.

Judgment affirmed.

Polly Stubblefield, pro se.

Holly Stubblefield, pro se.

Taylor, English Duma, Allen S. Willingham, Thomas F. Wamsley, Jr., for appellees.

THOMPSON, Chief Justice. All of the Justices concur.

OPINION

Page 80

Thompson, Chief Justice.

The primary question for decision in this case is whether appellants are subject to personal jurisdiction in this state under the Georgia Long Arm Statute, OCGA § 9-10-91 et seq. We answer this question affirmatively and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Appellants, Holly and Polly Stubblefield, and appellees, Loxley and William Stubblefield, are sisters and brothers. The sisters are residents of Florida; the brothers live in Mississippi. Together, the sisters and brothers are officers, directors and shareholders[1] of three closely held corporations, Scarlett & Associates, Inc. (" Scarlett" ), Parnell & Associates, Inc. (" Parnell" ), and PJ & Associates, Inc. (" PJ" ). Scarlett is a Georgia corporation with its registered agent in Forsyth County. Parnell and PJ are Mississippi corporations with registered agents in Fulton County.

In March and April 2013, the brothers withdrew large sums of money from one of the corporations without board approval. The brothers notified the sisters of these withdrawals, asserting the sisters were entitled to receive equal amounts. However, the sisters took the position that the withdrawals were unlawful. The sisters notified the brothers that the three corporations would hold board [296 Ga. 482] meetings in Biloxi, Mississippi, on May 1, 2013, and that the brothers were required to attend the meetings in person. The brothers did not appear at the meetings, and the sisters voted to remove them from their positions as officers and directors of the three corporations.

The brothers brought suit against the sisters and the corporations in Forsyth County. The complaint[2] sought declaratory relief on the ground that the meetings were invalid and that, therefore, the brothers should be restored to their positions as officers and directors of the corporations. More specifically, the brothers alleged that the sisters wrongfully removed the brothers from their positions with the corporations by failing to honor the brothers' request to attend the board meetings by teleconference. They also alleged that the sisters took steps to freeze the brothers out of the corporations by (1) seizing all funds (totaling more than $700,000) from the corporate bank accounts in the Wells Fargo Bank in Forsyth County and depositing the funds in bank accounts in Florida; (2) using $47,000 in corporate money to fund their legal defense; (3) terminating the corporations' Forsyth County bookkeeper and accounting firm and retaining a new bookkeeper in Florida; and (4) attempting to seize all original corporate documents from the offices of the bookkeeper in Forsyth County.

The complaint sought injunctive relief and the appointment of a receiver to manage and control the corporations while the parties resolved their differences. The sisters, who were served with process in ...


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