Archive for the '60 Days' Category

GCO Member Waits Nearly 8 Years for GFL

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

A GCO member recently received his renewal GFL after waiting almost 8
years since he applied. The member had been cited for something that,
if still pending as an open case, could render him ineligible for a
GFL. In this instance, however, the member never was prosecuted and
the “case” was “dead docketed” by the municipal court before which the
member was taken. The word “case” is in quotations because the charge
was not something which could be tried in municipal court. The member
merely appeared before the municipal court for warrant and bonding
purposes. Thus, no “case” ever was opened and no indictment,
accusation, or information was obtained. The municipal court instead “dead docketed”
the case. For those who might not be familiar with the term, “dead
docketing” is a device used in Georgia to dispose of a case without
truly disposing of it. Usually done upon the motion of the prosecutor
when the prosecutor does not want to prosecute, when a court places a
case on the “dead docket,” it generally stays there. It only can be
placed on an active docket upon the order of the court. Thus, a dead
docketed case is, for almost all purposes, the same as a dismissed
case. The only difference is that, technically, the court (and not the
prosecutor) has the power to revive a dead docketed case.

In the GCO member’s instance, the municipal court purported to dead
docket a case that had not yet been commenced. The probate court,
however, interpreted the dead docketed case to be one that still could
be reinstated upon the order of the municipal court (even though the statute of
limitations had long since run). Ironically, the probate court agreed
with GCO attorneys that the GFL could be issued if the record of the
case were expunged. The irony is that the “case” does not go away
with expungement of the record. If the case could be revived before
expungement, it could be revived after expungement. The member
applied several years ago to have the record expunged, and the
application was denied. GCO requested reconsideration of the
expungement application, pointing out that the member was statutorily
entitled to an expungement under the circumstances. The reconsidered
application was granted.

The probate court re-ran the member’s background check and, 7 years
and 9 months after the application for a renewal GFL was made, the GFL
was issued.

Congratulations to our most patient member!


Supreme Court Refuses to Review 60-Day Issue

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

The Supreme Court of Georgia voted 4-3 to deny a petition for certiorari to review the Court of Appeals’ decision establishing that probate judges may wait indefinitely for a “notification” that a background check has been conducted before issuing a GFL. Justices Sears, Benham and Hines voted to grant certiorari. The Court of Appeals decision now stands as the law in Georgia. A copy of the denial of certiorari can be viewed here: of Cert.pdf


Federal Court Denies Henry County Judge’s Motion for Reconsideration, Awards Fees

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia has denied the Henry County Probate Judge’s motion to reconsider an earlier ruling in the federal court. The earlier ruling found the probate judge had violated the federal Privacy Act (related to SSNs) and the Georgia Weapons and Firearms Act (related to issuing GFLs within 60 days). The probate judge asked for reconsideration, based on an earlier decision of the Court of Appeals of Georgia in a different case (from Coweta County). The federal court found the two cases distinguishable, and said the facts in the Coweta County case were not present in the Henry County case.

The federal court also ordered the Henry County Probate Judge to pay the plaintiff’s (a GCO member’s) costs and attorney’s fees in the amount of $7,721.31. The Order, and other documents in the case, can be viewed here:


Henry County Probate Judge Moves to Amend Judgment

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

The Henry County Probate Judge has filed a motion to amend the judgment of the federal court, arguing that the Court of Appeals of Georgia decision in the Moore case was controlling. The motion may be viewed here: 39-2 Brief in Support of Motion.pdf


GCO Wins Federal Lawsuit Against Henry County Probate Judge on SSN, 60-Day Issues

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia has ruled in favor of a GCO member that sued the Henry County Probate Judge. The court found that the probate judge violated the federal Privacy Act by failing to provide the required warning when the GCO member was asked for his social security number on his GFL application. Because of this violation, the court ordered the probate judge to provide the proper warning in the future if social security numbers are requested (as a result of a separate case, most probate judges no longer request social security numbers). The court also found that the probate judge violated Georgia law by failing to issue the GFL within 60 days of the application. As a result of this violation, the court ordered the probate judge to abide by Georgia law for future GFL applications. Finally, the court ruled that the probate judge must pay reasonable attorney’s fees, in an amount to be determined from future court filings. The court’s order can be viewed here: Order Granting Summary Judgment.pdf


Coweta County Opposes 60-day Case in GA Supreme Court

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

The Coweta County attorney, on behalf of the Coweta County probate judge, has filed a brief in the Supreme Court of Georgia, opposing a GCO member’s request for the high court to review a decision of the Court of Appeals of Georgia. The Court of Appeals ruled that, contrary to the plain language of the GFL licensing statute, probate judges may wait indefinitely for a “notification” from local law enforcement that background checks have been performed. Inexplicably, the Court also ruled that the results of the background checks need not be reported to probate judges at all if no derogatory information is found. The probate judge’s opposition can be read here: to Petition for Cert.pdf


GCO Asks Supreme Court to Review 60-Day Issue

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

GCO attorneys have filed a “petition for certiorari” with the Supreme Court of Georgia, asking the high court to review the decision of the Court of Appeals of Georgia in a case where the Court of Appeals ruled that probate juges may wait longer than 60 days to issue a firearms license. The Supreme Court has discretion to take the case, but is not required to do so. A decision on whether to take the case is expected in a few months. The petition, and other documents in the case, can be viewed here:


Cobb County Responds on Temporaries, 60-day Issue

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

The Cobb County Probate Court has filed its response to a GCO member’s motion for summary judgment in a Cobb County Superior Court case. The issues are whether probate judges are required to issue temporary GFLs, if such temporaries are valid for all purposes that regular GFLs are valid, and if GFLs must be issued within 60 days of application as required by state law. The response to our motion for summary judgment can be viewed here:


Appeals Court Denies Reconsideration; GCO Intends to Seek Supreme Court Review

Thursday, June 7th, 2007

The Court of Appeals of Georgia has denied a GCO member’s motion for reconsideration of its decision that probate judges, though required to issue GFLs within 60 days of application, may wait indefinitely to issue GFLs. The documents may be viewed here:


GCO Requests Reconsideration of 60-day Issue

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

GCO has filed a motion for reconsideration with the Court of Appeals of Georgia, asking the court to re-examine its recent decision holding that probate courts need not comply with the statute requiring issuance of GFLs within 60 days of application. A copy of the brief is available here: