Probate Judge Insists to the Eleventh Circuit that Georgia is a “May Issue” State

In a recently filed brief to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (the federal appellate court based in Atlanta), the President of the Georgia Probate Judges Council argued before the panel of judges that Georgia is a “may issue” state and that the judge has “discretion” over whether to issue.  The brief argued:

Clearly, the first portion of O.C.G.A. 16-11-129(a) provides the probate judge with discretion to issue or not issue a license.  The statute plainly states that a judge of the probate court “may” issue – or not issue – a license or renewal license.  The term “may” is ordinarily . . . permissive, and discretionary provisions are not commands.

This argument by the president of the council may explain a lot of the issues GCO members have been experiencing around the state with their local probate courts.  This brief is entitled Brief on Behalf of Defendant/Appellee Betty B. Cason, and it is filed in the records of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Appeal No. 06-16425-G, in case anybody needs a reference to point out to interested legislators on why the word “may” in O.C.G.A. 16-11-129(a) should probably be changed by legislative amendment.

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One Response to “Probate Judge Insists to the Eleventh Circuit that Georgia is a “May Issue” State”

  1. Wiley Says:

    Could a pdf of the brief be put up? Or instructions on how to see it online?