DILLARD, C. J., DOYLE, P. J., and MERCIER, J.
case arises from a family dispute over the inheritance of
real property. Vaudre Mullis was the mother of Rodney Mullis,
Lora Welch, Loris Wendell ("Wendell") Mullis, Larry
Mullis, and Rhonda Metts, and the grandmother of Allison
Mullis and Krista Mullis Jones. In 1999, Vaudre deeded certain
real estate to herself as trustee of the Vaudre T. Mullis
Revocable Trust Agreement (the "1999 trust"). On
August 23, 2010, she revoked the 1999 trust and executed a
deed from herself as trustee of the 1999 trust conveying
property to herself individually. The same day, Vaudre
executed an irrevocable trust agreement (the "2010 trust
agreement") creating a new trust (the "2010
trust"), of which she is the sole settlor and Lora and
Wendell are the trustees, and executed a deed transferring
real property to the 2010 trust (the "2010 deed").
On August 24, 2010, Vaudre executed her Last Will and
Testament (the "will"). She died on November 14,
1999 trust agreement is not part of the record, but it is
undisputed that under the agreement, Rodney stood to receive
a 75-acre tract which was a portion of the corpus of the 1999
trust. The 2010 trust agreement provides instead that,
following Vaudre's death, the 75-acre tract is to be
transferred to Vaudre's granddaughters, Allison and
Krista, and Rodney is to receive a different, 38.501-acre
2015, Rodney filed a complaint against the trustees in the
Superior Court of Bacon County, alleging that Vaudre was
without sufficient mental capacity to execute the 2010 trust
agreement and was operating under the undue influence of the
trustees "and others" in the execution of "the
purported trust." The complaint seeks a temporary
restraining order restraining and enjoining the trustees from
executing and delivering or recording any deeds, and requests
that "the [d]eeds . . . be set aside." The trustees
moved for summary judgment and a hearing was held on the
motion. The trustees argued that (among other things)
Rodney's evidence did not give rise to triable issues of
material fact as to the claims of mental incapacity and undue
influence. Subsequently, the trial court requested that the
parties submit briefs on the issue of mootness. The briefs
were apparently submitted electronically and are not part of
the appellate record.
trial court found that the issues for determination in this
case were moot and granted summary judgment to the trustees.
The court's holding was based on its finding that Rodney
did not challenge in the instant case the revocation of the
1999 trust and did not challenge the 2012 probate of the
will, which contains a clause providing that the residue of
Vaudre's estate is bequeathed to the trustees to be held,
administered and distributed as provided by the terms of the
2010 trust. Therefore, the trial court held, even if Rodney
were successful in having the 2010 trust set aside, because
he did not contest the revocation of the 1999 trust, title to
the 75-acre tract would (as part of the residue of
Vaudre's estate) pass pursuant to the terms of the will
to the trustees of the 2010 trust for distribution as
provided in the 2010 trust agreement, and the outcome would
thus be no different than if summary judgment were granted to
appeals, contending that the trial court erred in holding
that he did not contest the revocation of the 1999 trust and
that conflicts in the evidence regarding undue influence and
Vaudre's mental capacity to execute the trust-related
documents require resolution of the case by a fact
finder. For the following reasons, the trial court's
finding of mootness was erroneous, but the grant of summary
judgment was nonetheless proper, and we affirm the judgment
trial court erred in finding that Rodney's claim was moot
because he did not contest the revocation of the 1999 trust
in this action.
[T]he Georgia Civil Practice Act requires only notice
pleading and, under the Act, pleadings are to be construed
liberally and reasonably to achieve substantial justice
consistent with the statutory requirement of the Act.
Pleadings serve only the purpose of giving notice to the
opposing party of the general nature of the contentions of
the pleader, and thus general allegations are sufficient to
support a plaintiff's claim for relief.
Wright v. Waterberg Big Game Hunting Lodge Otjahewita
(Pty), Ltd., 330 Ga.App. 508, 510 (1) (767 S.E.2d 513)
(2014) (citation omitted). "[A] complaint is not
required to set forth a cause of action, but need only set
forth a claim for relief." One Bluff Drive, LLC v.
K. A. P., Inc., 330 Ga.App. 45, 48 (1) (766 S.E.2d 508)
(2014) (citation and punctuation omitted) (holding that the
jury was properly charged on the issue of quantum meruit
where the claim was not raised in the complaint, but was
raised in other pleadings and the pretrial order, the jury
was presented with evidence regarding that claim, and the law
supported the claim based on the plaintiff's version of
requested relief in Rodney's complaint includes setting
aside the deeds "called for in the  trust."
The 2010 trust agreement states in its preamble that Vaudre
"desire[d] to enter into th[e]  [t]rust" and
was simultaneously revoking the 1999 trust, and that she had
irrevocably transferred to the trustees certain assets. The
trustees stated in their summary judgment pleadings that
Rodney was contesting the validity of the 2010 revocation and
the 2010 trust agreement. The trustees were therefore on
notice that Rodney was challenging the change in the
arrangement for the distribution of Vaudre's property,
and the revocation of the 1999 trust is an inherent part of
the change. See Wright, supra. Thus, the trial court
erred in finding that Rodney's claim was moot because he
did not explicitly challenge the revocation.
the trial court's grant of summary judgment on the basis
of mootness was erroneous, we uphold a grant of summary
judgment if it is right for any reason, assuming that the
reason was argued in the court below. Serchion v.
Capstone Partners, Inc., 298 Ga.App. 73, 76 (2)
(679 S.E.2d 40) (2009). "It is the grant itself that is
to be reviewed for error, and not the analysis
employed." Id. For the reasons described below,
summary judgment was proper in this case.
Rodney is incorrect that the evidence he presented regarding
mental capacity and undue influence is sufficient for his
claim to survive summary judgment.
Summary judgment is properly granted when the pleadings and
evidence "show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a
judgment as a matter of law." OCGA § 9-11-56 (c).
On appeal from the grant or denial of summary judgment, we
conduct a de novo review, with all reasonable ...