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Love v. Fulton County Bd. of Tax Assessors

Court of Appeals of Georgia

December 3, 2018, Decided

A18A1778.

Opinion

 [*309]  [**578]  Barnes, Presiding Judge.

This case arises out of a dispute over whether the Fulton County Board of Tax Assessors (the “Tax Board” or “Board”) exercised its duty to investigate diligently and determine whether the interest of the Atlanta Falcons Stadium Company, LLC (the “Stadium Company”) in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium (the “New Stadium”) is subject to ad valorem property taxation. Based on that dispute, Albert E. Love and several other citizens and taxpayers of Fulton County (collectively, the “plaintiffs”)1 sued the Tax Board, the individual Tax Board members, and the Chief Appraiser of the Tax Board (collectively, the “defendants”)2 for a writ of mandamus and injunctive and declaratory relief, and the defendants moved to dismiss the plaintiffs' petition for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted pursuant to OCGA § 9-11-12 (b) (6). The trial court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim and then dismissed several other pending motions as moot, including the plaintiffs' [*310]  motion to have OCGA § 10-9-10 declared unconstitutional. This appeal by the plaintiffs followed.

For the reasons discussed below, we affirm the dismissal [***2]  of the plaintiffs' mandamus claims and their claims for injunctive and declaratory relief brought against the Tax Board and the other defendants in their official capacities. We reverse the dismissal of the plaintiffs' claims for injunctive and declaratory relief brought against the Tax Board members and the Chief Appraiser in their individual capacities. Because we reverse the dismissal of those claims, we also reverse the trial court's decision to dismiss as moot the plaintiffs' motion to have OCGA § 10-9-10 declared unconstitutional.

] We review de novo a trial court's ruling on a motion to dismiss. Walker County v. Tri-State Crematory, 292 Ga. App. 411, 411 (664 SE2d 788) (2008).

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348 Ga. App. 309 *; 821 S.E.2d 575 **; 2018 Ga. App. LEXIS 643 ***; 2018 WL 6288099

LOVE et al. v. FULTON COUNTY BOARD OF TAX ASSESSORS et al.

Subsequent History: Reconsideration denied December 21, 2018.

Prior History: Mandamus. Fulton Superior Court. Before Judge Schwall.

Disposition: Judgment affirmed in part and reversed in part.

CORE TERMS

Stadium, mandamus, valorem, taxation, license, declaratory, injunctive, moot, punctuation, diligently, usufruct, lease

Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Responses, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Real Property Law, Encumbrances, Limited Use Rights, Usufruct, Tax Law, State & Local Taxes, Real Property Taxes, Evidence, Inferences & Presumptions, Presumptions, Particular Presumptions, Writs, Common Law Writs, Mandamus, Real Property Taxes, Assessment & Valuation, Affirmative Defenses, Immunity, Governments, State & Territorial Governments, Claims By & Against