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Anderson v. All American Quality Foods

Court of Appeals of Georgia

May 1, 2015

ANDERSON
v.
ALL AMERICAN QUALITY FOODS

Reconsideration denied July 29, 2015.

Indigence. Henry State Court. Before Judge Chafin.

Michael B. King, for appellant.

Waldon Adelman Castilla Hiestand & Prout, Russell D. Waldon, John E. Alday, Stephen P. Morris, for appellee.

MCMILLIAN, Judge. Barnes, P. J., and Ray, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 390

McMillian, Judge.

Appellant Wanda Anderson appeals, contending that the trial court erred by denying her motions to be designated indigent and dismissing her notice of appeal from the trial court's order granting summary judgment to appellee All American Quality Foods (" Quality [333 Ga.App. 534] Foods" ) and dismissing her second notice of appeal from the dismissal order. Having considered Anderson's contentions on appeal, we now affirm.

Pertinent to these issues, the record shows that on November 22, 2010, Anderson filed a renewed complaint seeking damages for injuries she allegedly received when she slipped and fell in a Food Depot store owned and operated by Quality Foods in Stockbridge, Georgia. The trial court entered an order granting summary judgment to Quality Foods on March 28, 2012, and Anderson filed a notice of appeal and motion for reconsideration from that order on April 27, 2012 (" first notice of appeal" ); Anderson's notice of appeal directed the trial court clerk to include the entire record on appeal, including the transcript from the summary judgment hearing.

A hearing was held on Anderson's motion for reconsideration of the summary judgment order on June 27, 2012, and the trial court denied Anderson's motion in July 2012.[1] On August 21, 2012, Anderson filed an amended notice of appeal to this Court and again directed the trial court clerk to include the entire record on appeal, including the hearing transcripts. The original and amended notices of appeal were signed by Anderson's attorney, who listed his address as " 116 S. Main Street, Suite 9, Jonesboro, Georgia 30236." Also on August 21, 2012, the clerk of the State Court of Henry County sent Anderson's attorney a statement for costs totaling $299, specifically stating that costs had to be paid within 20 days from the date of the statement. This notice of costs was sent by certified mail to the same address listed for Anderson's attorney on her original and amended notices of appeal.

On September 11, 2012, the trial court issued a rule nisi for a hearing on the status of Anderson's notice of appeal and to show cause why her notice of appeal should not be dismissed. On October 15, 2012, Anderson filed a motion for designation of indigency pursuant to OCGA § 9-15-2 and requested to be provided with a free copy of the motion hearing transcripts. Anderson attached an affidavit of indigence to her motion, which stated that she was unable to pay the costs of the appeal and the hearing transcripts.

Quality Foods filed a brief opposing Anderson's motion on October 24, 2012, noting Anderson's failure to serve Quality Foods' counsel with the amended notice of appeal and that Anderson had [333 Ga.App. 535] waited three months from the denial of her motion for reconsideration, and almost two months from the time the trial court clerk sent the statement of appeal costs, to file her motion to be designated indigent and relieved of the costs of pursuing her appeal and obtaining the transcripts. On October 29, 2012, the trial court issued an amended rule nisi, to provide for a hearing on Anderson's indigency status and her entitlement to a free copy of the transcript.

On April 3, 2014, the trial court entered an order dismissing Anderson's notice of appeal. The trial court found that it had attempted to determine Anderson's indigent status at the November 6, 2012 hearing, but that Anderson failed to appear at ...


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