On March 13, 2020, the Georgia Court of Appeals reversed a decision by the Superior Court of Newton County allowing an out of time appeal in a condemnation case. The petition for condemnation having been filed, all of the necessary parties served, and no one filing an appeal, the trial court entered a final order and judgement. Months later, the trial court allowed a named condemnee to set aside the final judgement and file an out of time appeal. The condemnor appealed the trial court’s action and the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court, finding that it was without jurisdiction to either set aside the final judgement or allow an out of time appeal and holding that the trial court abused its discretion in doing so. See Department of Transportation v. Szenczi, et. al. A19A1905
Since November 2015, Warren and Ruthie have represented a national franchisee who was accused of constructing encroachments on an access easement. After filing an answer on behalf of our client, we moved for partial summary judgement. Following a hearing, the trial court denied our client’s motion for summary judgement, and instead granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, ruling that our client encroached into the easement area and ordered the easement to an unobstructed condition. Our client appealed to the Georgia Court of Appeals, in part arguing that the trial court erred in granting the plaintiff’s claim for ejectment from an easement. In early October 2019, not only did the Court of Appeals reverse the trial court, the Court of Appeals overruled its recent decision in Amah v. Whitefield Academy, 331 Ga. App. 258 (2015) to the extent that it found ejectment the proper remedy for a party that obstructs an easement.*
*Patel Taherbhai, Inc v Broad Street Stockbridge II, LLC, A19A0820 (Ga. App., 2019)
In July, 2018, at the call of the case for trial, Clayton County agreed to compensate our client more than 3 times the amount of compensation initially offered. The pivotal issue in this case was the new proximity of the road to the family homestead and whether it continued to be inhabitable for safety reasons.
Our firm had the privilege of representing a family in a condemnation matter brought by the City of Sandy Springs. Through our efforts spanning two years, the City agreed to increase the amount of compensation by more than double that which was originally offered and to include the transfer of property as non-economic compensation. This case involved factual issues of whether a national restaurant chain could continue to operate as a consequence of the condemnation or would the site have to be redeveloped.
Warren Power and Patrick Jaugstetter represented five property owners against the United States of America and the US Air Force. Through their efforts, Mr. Power and Mr. Jaugstetter were able to obtain settlement offers from the United States during court-ordered mediation ranging from a 700% increase over the pay-in up to over 16,000% increase over the pay-in.
Warren Power handled numerous sanitary sewer easement cases for property owners. Mr. Power was able to obtain 179% to 1,217% increases in compensation for the property owners over the amount of money initially offered by the government.
After a year and a half of litigation, culminating in a two (2) day jury trial in the Superior Court of Clayton County, the firm's trial team of Warren R. Power, Patrick Jaugstetter, obtained a jury verdict in favor of a homeowner whose property was taken by the City of Riverdale. The verdict was double the highest amount offered by the City.Warren Power represented the owners of property against the City of McDonough in a sewer treatment plant expansion. Mr. Power was able to obtain a 213% increase in compensation for his client over the initial amount of money offered by the City of McDonough.Warren Power represented three owners against the City of Stockbridge for the urban redevelopment of downtown Stockbridge. Through Mr. Power's efforts, he was able to obtain increased awards of compensation from 102%, 123%, and 160%, respectively, over the amounts of money initially offered by the government.
Patrick Jaugstetter recently secured a victory in the Georgia Court of Appeals for his client, the Henry County Board of Tax Assessors. In Surette v. Henry County Board of Tax Assessors, Court of Appeals Case #A15A0218, the Georgia Court of Appeals agreed with Patrick's argument and ruled that a property owner cannot seek an appeal of a subsequent year's tax valuation after agreeing, in an earlier case, to be bound to a higher value in the subsequent year. The case clarified the application of the doctrine of estoppel would apply in a property tax appeal case.
Warren Power has represented numerous property owners against Clayton and Henry Counties. Mr. Power has successfully obtained a 207% to 761% increases over the amounts of money initially offered by these governments.
Warren Power represented two property owners in Henry County involving a 230KV Transmission line expansion. Mr. Power was able to obtain a 154% and 696% increase, respectively in compensation for his clients over the initial money offered by Georgia Transmission Corporation.