Freedom. Liberty and Justice For ALL (Petitions)

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Ultra Vires (Means Acting without the authority of law) ** Do not need a declaratory judgment for taxpayers or citizens to have standing to seek public duty or public rights to seek injunctive or equitable relief'beyond%20the,('within%20the%20powers'). Under constitutional law, particularly in Canada and the United States, constitutions give federal and provincial or state governments various powers. To go outside those powers would be ultra vires; for example, although the court did not use the term in striking down a federal law in United States v. Lopez on the grounds that it exceeded the constitutional authority of Congress, the Supreme Court still declared the law to be ultra vires.[10] United States v. Lopez, 514 US 549 - Supreme Court 1995 Lowry v. McDuffie, 496 SE 2d 727 - Ga: Supreme Court 1998 (no declaratory)

Citizens have a right to request a waiver of court fees and to file an indigent affidavit to proceed forma pauperis O.C.G.A. § 9-15-2 if they cannot afford the court fees. See Williams v. DeKalb County, 842 S.E. 2d 570 (2020)

The Law of Municipal Code and Case Law and Treatise
shareholders of private companies, who can assert the rights of the corporation against the corporation's directors and officers through derivative litigation. Id. Incongruously, we also quoted a treatise extending the rule to actions against "county, town, or city authorities[.]

1 Pom Eq Jur § 260

1. Eq, Jur §  483

2. High on Injunction §§  1239, 1269, 1271

§ 1239

§ 1269

§ 1271

3. Injunctions §  1300

3. Munic Corp §  395


Municipal Code Dillon, 4th Edition


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).
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)

Federal Taxpayers Standing

Federal Citizens and Taxpayer Standing

OCGA § 23-3-1
Legal and Equitable Rights Given Effect; Legal and Equitable Remedies Applied
OCGA § 23-3-2 
Any person may, in any civil action, claim equitable relief by appropriate and sufficient pleadings and obtain the equitable relief proper in the case.
OCGA § 23-3-3 
A person who asserts a claim for equitable relief may at any time, by proper pleading and proof, also apply for and obtain any of the extraordinary remedies available from the court in its exercise of equitable powers.

Recover and Recoupment of Public Funds

Savage v. City of Atlanta, 251 SE 2d 268 - Ga: Supreme Court 1978

State of Georgia v. O'NEAL, 273 SE 2d 631 - Ga: Court of Appeals 1980
Mobley v. Board of Commissioners, 311 SE 2d 178 - Ga: Supreme Court 1984
State of Ga. v. MacDougall, 229 SE 2d 667 - Ga: Court of Appeals 1976
MacDougall v. State of Georgia, 233 SE 2d 378 - Ga: Supreme Court 1977
Grogan v. City of Dawsonville, 823 SE 2d 763 - Ga: Supreme Court 2019
Palmer v. MITCHELL COUNTY FED &c., 377 SE 2d 4 - Ga: Court of Appeal
Aldrich v. City of Lumber City, 530 SE 2d 195 - Ga: Court of Appeals 1999


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

This Court then routinely began applying Keen's rule to allow taxpayers to sue both cities and counties for alleged ultra vires actions, even without necessarily alleging an injury to the taxpayer, when it was clear that the ultra vires action would create an illegal debt, cause illegal expenses to be incurred, result in increased taxes, or misappropriate public funds. See, e.g., Mitchell v. Lasseter, 114 Ga. 275, 281 (40 SE 287) (1901) ("Any taxpayers of the county had a right to apply to a court of equity to prevent the county commissioners from making contracts which they had no authority to make.")

Savage v. City of Atlanta, 242 Ga. 671, 671-672 n.1 (251 SE2d 268) (1978) (concluding that the plaintiff, as a taxpayer of the City of Atlanta, had standing to seek injunction to prevent the City's commissioner of finance from paying out public funds under the authority of certain ordinances);

Clark v. Cline, 123 Ga. 856, 864 (51 SE 617) (1905) (taxpayers could sue to enjoin county from making illegal payments to city school system because taxpayer's contribution to public fund constituted a "pecuniary interest" that authorized him prevent "illegal diversion" of public funds); Fluker v. City of Union Point, 132 Ga. 568, 570 (64 SE 648) (1909) (noting well-established rule that "taxpayer may enjoin municipal corporations and their officers from making an unauthorized appropriation of the corporate funds or an illegal disposition of the corporate property"); Dancer v. Shingler, 147 Ga. 82, 84 (92 SE 935) (1917) (taxpayers can enjoin county board members from executing illegal contract that would expend money of taxpayers or incur indebtedness).

Williams v. DeKalb County, 308 Ga. 265, 272 (3) (b) (ii) (840 SE2d 423) (2020) (noting that, under Georgia law, the plaintiff's "status as a taxpayer generally affords him standing to seek to enjoin the unlawful expenditure of public funds" (emphasis added)); 

Barge v. Camp, 209 Ga. 38, 43 (1) (70 SE2d 360) (1952) ("This court has many times held that citizens and taxpayers of both counties and municipalities have such interest as will authorize them to maintain actions to enjoin the unlawful disposition of public funds or property.").

 Head, 215 Ga. at 265-266 (2) (taxpayers had standing to seek to enjoin State Revenue Commissioner from issuing liquor license to defendant); 

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).

There are several cases in which taxpayers have enjoined public officials related to illegal tax without a declaratory judgment, interlocutory injunction, individual injury, irreparable harm, or proven illegal expenditure of public funds, the likelihood of success, 

RothschildII et al. v. Columbus Consolidated Government et al, 285 Ga. 477, 678 S.E.2d 76 (2009) (Citizen Standing) 
Haugen V. Henry County et al., 277 Ga. 743 594 S.E.2d 324 (2004); 
Flyman et al. v. Glynn County et al 276 Ga. 426 578 S.E.2d 124 (2003); 
Johnstone et al. v. Thompson. 280 Ga. 611 631 S.E.2d 650 (2006);
Shadix et al. v. Carroll County et al. 239 Ga. App. 191 (1999); 
Dickey et al. v. Storey et al. 423 S.E.2d 650 262 Ga. 452 (1992); 
City Council of Augusta v. Mangelly, 243 Ga. 358, 254 S.E.2d 315 (1979); 
Blackmon v. Golia, 202 SE 2d 186 (1973); 
Martin v. Ellis, 249 SE 2d 23 - Ga: Supreme Court 1978.

Taxpayers had attacked statutes' constitutionality and sought injunctive relief without an individualized injury

City Council of Augusta v. Mangelly, 243 Ga. 358, 254 S.E.2d 315 (1979); 
Martin v. Ellis, 249 SE 2d 23 - Ga: Supreme Court 1978.
Board of Commissioners v. Cooper, 264 S.E.2d 193, 245 Ga. 251 (1980)
Development Auth. of Cobb County v. State, 829 SE 2d 160 - Ga: Supreme Court 2019
Rich v. State of Ga., 227 SE 2d 761 - Ga: Supreme Court 1976
Henderson v. MARTA, 225 SE 2d 424 - Ga: Supreme Court 1976
Strickland v. Newton County, 258 SE 2d 132 - Ga: Supreme Court 1979
Camp v. Marta, 189 SE 2d 56 - Ga: Supreme Court 1972
Salem v. Tattnall County, 302 SE 2d 99 - Ga: Supreme Court 1983
Love v. Fulton County Bd. of Tax Assessors, 821 SE 2d 575 - Ga: Court of Appeals 2018
Love v. Fulton County Bd. of Tax Assessors, 859 SE 2d 33 - Ga: Supreme Court 2021

SHERRER et al. v. HALE et al., 285 S.E.2d 714, 248 Ga. 793 (1982)

Dr. Sherrer also argues that because Mr. Hale has an adequate remedy at law (money damages)injunctive (equitable) relief was not authorized. As is often the case, in order to determine whether equitable relief is authorized, we must first ascertain what rights, if any, the plaintiff has which warrant protection. Thus, we defer this question until after consideration of the merits.

Dr. Sherrer argues that the waiver provision is ineffective because the question of whether an adequate remedy at law exists determines if the trial court has equity jurisdiction and, under Code Ann. § 24-112, subject-matter jurisdiction cannot be conferred on the trial court by agreement of the parties.

Although the agreement of the parties is entitled to consideration, we agree that the parties cannot by waiver or consent confer equity jurisdiction on a court where it is otherwise without jurisdiction. E.g., Gray v. Gray, 229 Ga. 460, 461 (2) (192 SE2d 334) (1972); Sweatman v. Roberts, 213 Ga. 112 (97 SE2d 320)(1957); Code Ann. § 24-112. We also agree that equitable relief is improper if the complainant has a remedy at law which is "adequate," i.e., "as *798 practical and as efficient to the ends of justice and its prompt administration as the remedy in equity." Middlebrooks v. Lonas, 246 Ga. 720, 721 (272 SE2d 687)(1980). See also Code Ann. § 37-120. However, in this case Mr. Hale is without an adequate remedy at law because he is currently being deprived of his investment and his elected positions as director and secretary of a corporation in which he owns a one-half interest. The loss of these positions and their influence over the future direction of the corporation in which he has an interest is not compensable in damages. See Johnson v. Tribune-Herald Co., 155 Ga. 204 (3) (116 SE 810) (1922).

 EARLY v. EARLY, 252 S.E.2d 618, 243 Ga. 125 (1979)

 "`Where equity acquires jurisdiction for any purpose it will retain jurisdiction to give full and complete relief, whether legal or equitable, as to all purposes relating to the subject matter.' Fuller v. Dillon, 220 Ga. 36(lf) (136 SE2d 733)(1964); Code Ann. § 37-105." Gorman v. Gorman, supra.

 ***LUTHER et al. v. LUTHER, 289 Ga. App. 428, 657 S.E.2d 574 (2008)

Equity jurisdiction is established and allowed for the protection and relief of parties where, from any peculiar circumstances, the operation of the general rules of law would be deficient in protecting from anticipated wrong or relieving for injuries done.[2]

Thus, "[e]quity will grant relief only where there is no available adequate and complete remedy at law."[3] As otherwise stated, "[e]quitable relief is improper if the complainant has a remedy at law which is adequate, i.e., as practical and as efficient to the ends of justice and its prompt administration as the remedy inequity."[4]

Accordingly, the trial court did not err in finding that it had equity jurisdiction to provide injunctive relief.

"Where equity acquires jurisdiction for any purpose it will retain jurisdiction to give full and complete relief, whether legal or equitable, as to all purposes relating to the subject matter."[24]

 STOKES v. STOKES, 273 S.E.2d 169, 246 Ga. 765 (1980)

"such other and further relief as may be equitable and just."

"such other and further relief as the court deems meet and proper."

[This is just basically an open-ended statement indicating that the court has power to enterwhatever orders the court believes are necessary/appropriate under the circumstances. Usually this last sentence is a catch all phrase which asks the court for any additional relief or orders as they come up. It is boilerplate language that is in most complaints and summons. The phrase simply means the court is retaining jurisdiction and the ability to enter additionalorders should deem such are necessary and warranted.]

Regardless of the prayers of the petition and answer as to "other and further relief," ... a "party may amend his pleadings as a matter of course" (Code Ann. § 81A-115) to raise any claim, not already adjudicated, as he or she has against the opposing party (Code Ann. § 81A-118). In Price v. Price, 243 Ga. 4 (252 SE2d 402) (1979), after the decree of divorce was entered, the case was still pending and the wife was allowed to amend to assert a claim of resulting trust to real property. That decision is equally applicable to a husband's right to amend.

Gorman v. Gorman, 236 S.E.2d 652, 239 Ga. 312 (1977)

"she be awarded such other and further relief as the court deems proper under the circumstances."

One commonly recognized maxim of equity states that equity seeks to do complete justice, and "having the parties before the court rightfully, it will proceed to give full relief to all parties in reference to the subject-matter of the suit." See Code Ann. § 37-105. Further, in equity, "a superior court shall have full power to mold its decree so as to meet the exigencies in each case." Code Ann. § 37-1203.

"Where equity acquires jurisdiction for any purpose it will retain jurisdiction to give full and complete relief, whether legal or equitable, as to all purposes relating to the subject matter." Fuller v. Dillon, 220 Ga. 36 (1f) (136 SE2d 733) (1964); Code Ann. § 37-105. The court in making an equitable division of the properties had the power to award the fee simple interest to the wife and require her to pay any outstanding indebtedness on the properties, including taxes, insurance, and other fees and assessments.

REAVES v. REAVES, 259 S.E.2d 52, 244 Ga. 102 (1979)

For "such other and further relief as to the Court seems fair and just."

it was proper for the trial judge to divide the jointly held property as equity demanded, and his order accomplishing this did not amount to an award of alimony to the husband out of the wife's estate. 239Ga. at 314.

(When searching for a bond hearing date on a court's case management system the Plaintiff is usually the State of Georgia, and the Defendant is the government entity that is seeking the bond)

Section 36-82-77. Hearing and judgment on validation; parties to proceedings; right of appeal; review of the valuation of existing undertakings  (residents may participate)


Cobb Braves Stadium (Truist Park)

Rich v. State of Ga., 237 Ga. 291 (227 SE2d 761) (1976).

On November 21, 2018, a bond validation hearing regarding the Bonds was set for December 10, 2018.[14] On the morning of the hearing, four citizens of the City ("Intervenors"), who are the appellants in the present case, moved to intervene.[15] See OCGA § 36-82-77(a). At the same time, the Intervenors filed an answer

to the Development Authority's *546 petition for validation. The Intervenor's filing contained nine objections.

 At the bond validation hearing, the Development Authority and the City presented their opening evidence, including the Bond documents described above and descriptions of the Bond mechanics. The Intervenors then testified to prove their residence within the City. At that time, the trial court expressed its intent to allow the Intervenors and the Developer, which had also filed a motion, to intervene. On the following day,


December 11, the trial court followed up its oral ruling by signing a written order allowing intervention of the


On December 19, the bond validation hearing continued. The trial court received additional evidence that day regarding the proposed validation and the Intervenors' objections. Because of the voluminous nature of the filings and the evidence presented, the trial court continued the hearing one more time until December21. That day, all parties returned, and the trial court received even more evidence. Following this final day of the bond validation hearing, and after considering everything that had been timely presented up to that point, the trial court issued two written orders: one rejecting the Intervenors' objections on June 21, 2019, and one validating issuance of the Bonds on July 3, 2019. These two rulings form the crux of this appeal.

DeKalb County Charter Review Recommendations

MARTA  Board Public Comments

DeKalb Community Meeting Presentation Feb 11, 2023

A Supreme Court Win. The GA Supreme Court vacates the order related to the GA Court of Appeals related to my right to sue CEO Michael Thurmond for an injunction and equity regarding stopping the salary increase and recouping illegal payments. Williams has standing to sue the CEO to stop illegal salary payments made to the county officials and recoup over 1 million dollars in illegal payments

WILLIAMS v. DEKALB COUNTY et al., S22C1242 (2023)

WILLIAMS v. DEKALB COUNTY et al. 364 Ga. App. 710, 875 S.E.2d 865 (2022)
WILLIAMS v. DEKALB COUNTY et al. 308 Ga. 265, 840 S.E.2d 423 (2020),11

Public Officials should pay back illegal expenditures of taxpayer funds (clawback)
Koehler  et al v. Massell et al., 191 S.E.2d 830, 229 Ga. 359 (1972)
With respect to the issue of the personal liability of the defendants, the case is plainly not one within the provisions of Code § 69-208. Very few decisions of this court and of the Court of Appeals throw any light on the precise question here presented. In McCord v. City of Jackson, 135 Ga. 176 (2) (69 SE 23), this court held: "Municipal authorities are not personally liable in an action to recover money lawfully collected by them for one purpose, but applied to some other lawful liability of the municipality, unless some charter provision or the general law of the State imposes a liability on them in such instances, or unless their action puts it beyond the power of the municipality lawfully to raise, during the current year, the money with which to discharge the obligations for which the funds thus misapplied were originally intended." (Emphasis supplied.) Plaintiff amended his complaint by adding allegations seeking to bring his claim for money damages within the provisions of the last clause of the above quoted holding. However, we do not think that the ruling in that case is fully determinative of the question here. No other Georgia case has been called to our attention which decides this question. In 62 CJS 1009, Municipal Corporations, § 545 b (1) we find this statement supported by respectable authority: "In the absence of fraud or a statute providing for liability, municipal officers acting in a legislative capacity are not liable in damages for acts done in their official capacity, although such acts are void as in excess of jurisdiction, or otherwise without authority of law." We think this rule is a sound statement of the law as far as it goes. However, as applied to the issues in this case, we hold that in the absence of a showing 366*366 of bad faith, malice or fraud, coupled with a showing of direct or indirect pecuniary gain to the municipal officers accruing therefrom, or of a showing of the violation of the provisions of Code Ann. § 26-2304 (b) or of § 26-2305 (b) relating to the acceptance of bribes to influence official action, the mayor and board of aldermen would not be individually liable to respond in damages for legislative actions taken by them. Legislators ought not to be lightly called upon to personally respond in damages for their official legislative acts, but certainly, if it can be shown that they have, in effect, raided the public treasury of funds in order to enhance their personal fortunes, they should be held personally liable. In making this ruling we do not intend to intimate that these are the facts of the case, but merely that if the plaintiff can prove such to be the facts, he may recover damages on behalf of the city. Whether the plaintiff can meet this test with proof in this case must abide the trial of the case before a jury.
Lathrop et al v. Deal et al., 801 S.E.2d 867, 301 Ga. 408 (2017)
Given the purpose of the  [official immunity] doctrine as a matter of decisional law, it is unsurprising that it appears to have been limited to cases in which a public officer was sued in his individual capacity for monetary damages or other retrospective relief. As this Court explained in Koehler v. Massell, 229 Ga. 359, 366-367, 191 S.E.2d 830 (1972), a case involving a suit against the mayor and aldermen of Atlanta in their individual capacities for allegedly making an unlawful use of municipal funds and their amenability to injunctive and monetary relief, a claim against a public officer personally for prospective injunctive relief is of an entirely different character from a claim against him personally for monetary damages:
Savage et al v. City of Atlanta et al., 251 S.E.2d 268, 242 Ga. 671 (1978)
The judgment is, therefore, affirmed in part and reversed in part, and the case is remanded to the trial court with the direction that the trial court enjoin future payments held in this opinion to be illegal and unauthorized and take whatever action is deemed necessary to recoup whatever past sums have been illegally paid.
Williams et al v. DeKalb County et al., 840 S.E.2d 423, 308 Ga. 265 (2020)
The doctrine of official immunity, originally a creature of case law in Georgia, now arises out of Article I, Section II, Paragraph IX (d) of the Georgia Constitution, which establishes that public employees may be held personally liable for negligence relating to their official duties only when performing "ministerial" acts; "discretionary" acts are only subject to suit when performed with actual malice or intent to cause injury.



Williams v. MARTA A22A1216
Georgia Court of Appeals

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

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
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. 

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.
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. 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