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McClattie v. Kowal

Court of Appeals of Georgia

March 6, 2015

McCLATTIE
v.
KOWAL et al

Reconsideration denied March 19, 2015 -- Cert. applied for.

Trespass, etc. Columbia Superior Court. Before Judge Roper.

Judgment affirmed.

Allen W. Johnson, for appellant.

Barbara B. Claridge, Debra M. Bryan, for appellees.

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

OPINION

Page 188

McFadden, Judge.

Teiza J. McClattie sued her next door neighbors, Christopher and Amy Kowal, alleging that they trespassed and encroached on her property in various ways. After a jury trial, the court entered judgment on the jury's special verdict, finding that the Kowals had acquired a small portion of property by prescription; that the Kowals had trespassed but that McClattie was not entitled to damages; and that the Kowals were permanently enjoined from removing McClattie's ornamental plants. McClattie appeals. She argues that the trial court erred in granting the Kowals a directed verdict on two of her claims, but the court did not err in determining that McClattie could not recover on those claims as a matter of law. Although we agree with McClattie that the trial court erred by dismissing her motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, any error in this regard was harmless, given that the motion lacked merit. Finally, McClattie argues that the trial court erred in admitting irrelevant photographs of her overgrown yard, but she has failed to show that the trial court abused his discretion.

The Kowals purchased their residence in 1995. A chain link fence enclosed the back yard at the time they purchased their property. McClattie purchased the house next door in 2001. She filed this action alleging that the Kowals installed a gate post over the property line; cut limbs off McClattie's trees; placed their garbage cans in front of McClattie's property; trespassed and encroached on McClattie's property; and cut the grass on McClattie's property. McClattie also alleged that the flared end of the

Page 189

Kowals' driveway crossed the property line into her yard. McClattie sought injunctive relief, damages, and attorney fees.

1. The Kowals' directed verdict.

McClattie first argues that the trial court erred by granting the Kowals' motion for directed verdict. The trial court directed a verdict in the Kowals' favor on McClattie's allegations regarding the location of the Kowals' driveway and ...


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