Rogers & Hardin Wins Dismissal of Lawsuit for Atlanta Public Schools

November 2015
On behalf of Atlanta Public Schools, Rogers & Hardin attorneys Richard Sinkfield, Phillip McKinney, Catherine Bennett and Tim Fitzmaurice won the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the City of Atlanta challenging the validity of a 1950 local constitutional amendment to the Georgia Constitution.

The local constitutional amendment that was challenged by Atlanta provides that if unincorporated territory in Fulton County is annexed, the annexed territory and school property becomes part of APS. Atlanta asserted that the local constitutional amendment was invalid because the statute that prevented the amendment from being repealed by operation of law in 1987 impermissibly amended the local constitutional amendment and also violated the Georgia Constitution’s notice and distinct description requirements. The Fulton County Superior Court, however, upheld the constitutionality of the statute, affirmed the validity of the challenged local constitutional amendment, and dismissed the City of Atlanta’s lawsuit. The effect of the Court’s decision is that the 1950 local constitutional amendment remains in full force and effect as part of the Georgia Constitution.

As a result, if pending annexations in the South Oaks, Loch Lomond, and Sandtown communities in South Fulton County are finalized, those communities and the school property in those communities will become part of APS.

Atlanta has challenged the Superior Court’s decision to the Georgia Supreme Court, and Rogers & Hardin will represent APS on appeal.

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Catherine M. Bennett
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