Freedom. Liberty and Justice For ALL (Petitions)


The Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all



TAXPAYER AND CITIZEN STANDING
Williams v. DeKalb County 308 Ga. 265 (2020); Morris v. City Council of Augusta (1946); League of Women Voters v. Atlanta, 245 Ga. 301 (1980); Aiken v. Armstead, 186 Ga. 368; Black Voters Matter Fund v. Kemp S21A1261, S21A1262, S21X1326, S22X0007, S21A1263 (2022). https://youtu.be/b4A04TRDg-4
a citizen-taxpayer has standing in equity to restrain public officers from performing acts which the law does not authorize. However, absent expenditures of public revenue or performance of a duty owed to the public[,] a citizen-taxpayer has no standing in equity unless [he or] she has special damages not shared by the general public

Ga Supreme Court clarifies Taxpayer and Citizen Standing

In Keen, this Court recognized the "prevailing rule" that "any property-holder or municipal taxpayer" had the right 2e3a not conferred by statute 2e3a to "enjoin municipal corporations and their officers from transcending their lawful powers or violating their legal duties in any mode which will injure the taxpayers[.]" See Keen, 101 Ga. at 592-593 (citation and punctuation omitted). 

Keen reasoned that taxpayers of a municipality were in a similar position to and had interests similar in nature to that of private corporation stakeholders (creditors and stockholders) and, therefore, should have the same ability (i.e., standing) as private corporation stakeholders to "attend their own interests," those being to prevent through litigation the illegal acts of municipal authorities, which would otherwise cause loss and expense that taxpayers would ultimately bear. Id. at 593.

Sons of Confederate Veterans v. HENRY COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, Ga: Supreme Court 2022

See Keen v. City of Waycross, 101 Ga. 588, 592-594 (3) (29 SE 42) (1897); see also Koger v. Hunter, 102 Ga. 76, 79-80 (29 SE 141) (1897) (trial court erred in denying taxpayers' petition to enjoin county commissioners from misappropriating county funds)



MARTA SUES TAXPAYER FOR LEGAL FEES FOR EXERCISING HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO PETITION HIS GOVERNMENT



CITIZEN LAWSUIT AGAINST MARTA FOR ILLEGALLY EXTENDING RTCAA CONTRACT AND SALES TAX LEVY
Williams v. MARTA A22A1216
Georgia Court of Appeals

Public must demand new referendum for MARTA sales tax, speak out against retaliatory actions


TAXPAYER STANDING TO RESTRAIN AN ILLEGAL ACT
Williams v. Dekalb Cnty., 840 S.E.2d 423 (Ga. 2020)


See Division (3) (b) below for a discussion of standing conferred by a plaintiff’s status as a citizen or a taxpayer.

(b) Injunctive relief. As this Court has explained,

a citizen-taxpayer has standing in equity to restrain public officers from performing acts which the law does not authorize. However, absent expenditures of public revenue or performance of a duty owed to the public[,] a citizen-taxpayer has no standing in equity unless [he or] she has special damages not shared by the general public.
Juhan v. Lawrenceville, 251 Ga. 369, 370306 S.E.2d 251 (1983). Williams did not allege in his complaint that he suffered any special damages not shared by the general public. Therefore, to survive a motion to dismiss, he must demonstrate that his status as a citizen or as a taxpayer confers standing to seek an injunction against the members of the governing authority in their individual capacities.


(i) Citizen standing . Williams, as a citizen of DeKalb County, generally has standing pursuant to OCGA § 9-6-24 to bring a claim seeking to require a public official to perform the public duties that the General Assembly has conferred upon that official. See Moseley v. Sentence Review Panel , 280 Ga. 646 (1), 631 S.E.2d 704 (2006) (" OCGA § 9-6-24 confers standing ... in those cases wherein the defendant owes a public duty which the plaintiff, as a member of the public, is entitled to have enforced." (citation omitted)). 

DeKalb County Commission Pay Raise case will be argued before the Georgia Court of Appeals The UGA Appellate Clinic will be representing and arguing the case
A22A0508 EDWARD E. WILLIAMS v. DEKALB COUNTY et al
Tuesday, February 08, 2022, 1:30 PM Nathan Deal Judicial Center, 2nd Floor (See left menu on the COA website to watch live online at



Public Defender
Georgia’s public defenders uphold the United States Constitution’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel by representing those charged with a crime who cannot afford an attorney.
In the landmark 1963 case Gideon v. Wainwright, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a fundamental and essential prerequisite to a fair criminal justice system is the constitutional right to be defended by competent and effective lawyers. The Court stated:
“Reason and reflection require us to recognize that in our adversary system of criminal justice, any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him. This seems to us to be an obvious truth.”


UGA Appellate Litigation Clinic

Edward Williams v. DeKalb County, et al. argued before Court of Appeals of Georgia on Tuesday, February 8, 2022. 
                                                   https://youtu.be/54M6JsSUec8


Williams v. DeKalb County case was docketed in the Georgia Court of Appeals on October 25, 2021, A previous case was docketed in the Supreme Court on May 1, 2019. An unconstitutional compensation ordinance to increase the DeKalb County governing authority members' salary by 60% and Open Meeting Act violation will be heard for a second time.
The case was docketed A22A0508

DeKalb County Commission Pay Raise case argued before the Georgia Court of Appeals The UGA Appellate Clinic argued the case.
A22A0508 EDWARD E. WILLIAMS v. DEKALB COUNTY et al
Tuesday, February 08, 2022, 1:30 PM Nathan Deal Judicial Center, 2nd Floor
Questions before the court are whether Williams has standing to make a constitutional challenge without a declaratory judgment to stop the pay raise against the DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond. The County is arguing that WIlliams was not injured or harmed and that official and statutory immunity protects commissioners from the Open Meeting Act violations. The County also argues that its acts are assumed to be lawful and therefore not illegal. Williams argues that he has citizen-taxpayer standing and does not need to show harm or personalized injury, where public funds or performance of a duty is without authority and is unlawful. The County believes that because Williams only is seeking an injunction and does not have a declaratory judgment claim that he cannot make an unlawful or unconstitutional challenge to determine whether the county act is unlawful. Williams argues that the court has inherent authority under the review clause of the constitution to determine whether acts are in violation of constitutional provisions or statutes where there is a question of law and does not require a declaratory judgment because he is not seeking a declaration of his rights that affect his future conduct. . In regards to the Open Meetings Act violations, Official and statutory immunity does not protect public officials fon injunction relief to stop future acts that are a continuation of past acts that are unlawful or unconstitutional. The County is wrong because for several reasons. Official immunity applies to those claims where damages are being sought for acts that have already been completed and were discretionary acts that are part of the public official duty An authorized civil penalties, court costs, and legal fees are not claims for damages and compliance with the Open Meetings Act is not discretionary for public officials and agencies. Many of these issues were reviewed by the Georgia Supreme Court of the first appeal, however, A DeKalb Superior Court judge dismissed the case for a second time, thus this second appeal.

Case History
Williams sued DeKalb County and members of its governing authority, the Chief Executive Officer and the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, in their official and individual capacities (collectively, "Appellees").[1] In his complaint, Williams challenged in a variety of ways the legality of a DeKalb County ordinance, which increased the salaries of the members of the county governing authority, setting forth claims for mandamus, declaratory and injunctive relief, criminal and civil penalties for violating the Open Meetings Act, and attorney fees and costs of litigation.

Georgia Court of Appeals Decision July 1, 2022
Williams v. Dekalb Cnty., No. A22A0508 (Ga. Ct. App. Jul. 1, 2022)

We also affirm the trial court's order rejecting Williams' request to conduct an in camera review of certain e-mails between various commissioners and the county attorney However, we further conclude that the trial court erred in considering the affidavits attached to the commissioners' answer to Williams' third amended complaint in reviewing the commissioners' motion for judgment on the pleadings, without properly converting the motion to one for summary judgment Therefore, we vacate that portion of the trial court's order granting the motion for judgment on the pleadings and remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Judgment affirmed in part, vacated in part, and case remanded.

The case Williams v. DeKalb County (Williams II) will be appealed to Georgia Supreme Court for the 2nd time.


Private persons may sue to enforce the Act’s civil penalty provision and to receive the civil penalty paid. Williams v. DeKalb Cty., 308 Ga. 265, 840 S.E.2d 423 (2020).
Participation in an unlawfully closed meeting may be grounds for recall from office. See Steele v. Honea, 261 Ga. 644, 409 S.E.2d 652 (1991)

MARTA Sales Tax Extension without a Referendum is illegal.


The COVID-19 pandemic is not over.  MARTA continues to suspend and reduce bus routes throughout the MARTA system including DeKalb County without public hearings and a MARTA Board vote contrary to the MARTA Act and Open Meetings Act requirements which began on April 20, 2020. (V.20/R.9210).  MARTA waited until the Court of Appeals rendered a decision for mootness before it made public its plan to permanently reduce transit services.  The suit seeks to enjoin Appellees from continuing to act unlawfully and to hold officials accountable and impose an authorized civil penalty/punitive fine and litigation costs under the Open Meetings Act to vindicate the public interest.  E.g., MARTA added the 188 Oakley Industrial bus route without a MARTA Board vote and it continues to operate today. https://www.itsmarta.com/uploadedfiles/april24th-schedules/Route-188%20CS4.pdf MARTA does not have the power to suspend the law during a pandemic. Routes and schedules continue to change without a MARTA Board vote, 

MARTA seeks $166K in attorneys’ fees for ‘frivolous’ lawsuit against its operating contract

MARTA’s attorneys — Robert Highsmith Jr., A. AndrĂ© Hendrick and Philip George of Holland & Knight — say that’s part of a pattern of frivolous lawsuits.

If the lawsuit was so frivolous why does it take 3 high-priced lawyers from Holland and Knight to defend it?   MARTA  seeks to deny citizens a legal right to petition the government.  MARTA asks the court to make it where citizens would have to ask for permission first to file a lawsuit.  Every citizen and organization should be outraged and speak out about this clearly unconstitutional act.  The right to free speech, association, protest and peacefully assemble,  religious freedom, and petition the government shall not be abridged. 

There is no law in Georgia that allows MARTA to extend the service contract beyond 50 years which allows it to operate and provide bus and rail services and levy a sales tax for its funding without a referendum.  The GA
 Constitution specifically prohibits a government contract to be more than 50 years. In this case, MARTA 1971 RTCAA is a continuation with amendments and has never been renewed.   This is a clear violation of the GA Constitution.  There is no case in GA case law or common law that allows MARTA to do what it has done with the extension of a sales tax levy beyond August 31, 2021 without a new referendum.


The Georgia Supreme Court ruled (7-1) on the DeKalb 60 percent pay raise case on Friday, March 13, 2020,


Case Appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court (2nd time)
60 percent pay increase unconstitutional
DeKalb Superior Court June 17, 2021
Williams v. DeKalb County et al., 18CV8645
Senior Judge Alford Dempsey Presiding

University of Georgia School of Law First Amendment Clinic
Summaries of Georgia Supreme Court decisions
interpreting the Open Records Act and Open Meetings Act:


The upshot is that any legislative immunity presumptively shielding the Board of Regents would be a product of common law or statute, and thus subject to abrogation by the Legislature, as the court found. See generally Williams v. DeKalb County, 840 S.E.2d 423, 435 (Ga. 2020) ("While some immunities for members of the General Assembly are provided in our constitution, legislative immunity for local officials arises from statutes or from common law. An immunity conferred by statute or common law may be abrogated by statute.").

The Georgia Constitution protects state legislators from being made “liable to answer” for legislative statements. The Georgia Supreme Court in Williams v. DeKalb County explained that “[w]hile some immunities for members of the General Assembly are provided in [the state’s] constitution, legislative immunity for local officials arises from statutes or from common law.” The court cited cases for the proposition that courts cannot inquire into the motives of local officials in enacting an ordinance. The court also understands U.S. Supreme Court precedent as having established legislative immunity for local officials. However, the court also made clear that any “immunity conferred by statute or common law may be abrogated by statute,” finding in that case that the Open Meetings Act plainly abrogated legislative immunity for local officials.

In Williams v. DeKalb County, et al., the Georgia Supreme Court analyzed official immunity in the context of an alleged violation of the Open Meetings Act. Specifically, the plaintiff sought penalties against county commissioners in their individual capacities for purportedly not providing proper notice under the Act before adopting a pay increase for themselves. At the motion to dismiss stage, the trial court found that official immunity protected the commissioners from liability under the Act because deciding at a meeting to consider an item not on the pre-published agenda, based on a determination that it is necessary to do so, requires the exercise of judgment and therefore is a discretionary act.
However, without deciding whether the commissioners’ actions were in fact discretionary, the supreme court held that even if the actions were discretionary, the plaintiff “sufficiently allege[d] that the commissioners acted with actual malice by intentionally violating the agenda requirements of the Act—a criminal act.” The supreme court therefore found that the commissioners were not entitled to official immunity from the penalty provisions of the Act at the pleadings stage.

S19A1163 Williams v. DeKalb County et al. 840 SE 2d 423 (2020) Supreme Court Argument Oct. 22, 2019


DeKalb County headed back to Court. The governing authority's salary increase voted on in 2018 is being challenged by a citizen-taxpayer Ed Williams a resident of DeKalb County.

Williams v. DeKalb County case was docketed in the Georgia Supreme Court on August 18, 2021, for the 2nd time. A previous case was docketed on May 1, 2019. An unconstitutional compensation ordinance to increase the DeKalb County governing authority members' salary by 60% and Open Meeting Act violation will be heard for a second time.



Court of Appeals Overturns Ellerbe, Records Act  Civil Penalties Available  C


Public Interest Notice -  Court hearing in the case of
Williams v. MARTA et al., October 22, 2020, at 9:30 am
Access hearing via Zoom:
Judge Shukura Millender’s live-stream page.



The History of the US Pledge

The Flag is a symbol of the Republic for which the Constitution Stands




(Use Your Rights or You Will Lose Them)


       It is the collective and individual legal right of all citizens in the state of Georgia to expect that every article and provision of the Georgia Constitution is equally supported and protected for all its citizens by those who hold an office of trust and who take an oath. Any law that is inconsistent with the provisions should be declared void by the judiciary.  It is the right of all citizens to hold their government accountable within the provisions of the Constitution through a petition, and the use of the courts. 

       Those who are elected and appointed to serve in the public interest shall support and protect the Constitution. It is the right of all citizens to expect equal protection under the law.  All constitutional powers, authorities and individual rights should have the equal force of law to protect liberty, general welfare and ensure justice.  Any violation of a constitutional provision is a violation of the fundamental principle of consent of the governed as ratified by the Georgia Constitution of 1983.  All citizens should have the right to petition their government for redress of their grievance without any fear of intimidation, penalty, retribution or debt.  The US Constitution protects its citizen’s rights to petition and redress their government and that no state should immune itself from the redress of its citizens and due process.  

      The government is not above the law and its powers are not without end, The government and its officials should be held accountable for their actions, and they should not be able to hide behind the claim of immunity for actions that are beyond their powers, authority and duties. - Ed Williams






History should not exclude the reality that others existed and their roles

Letter to MARTA Board October 8, 2020 Failure of Leadership and Oversight