Alexander Properties Group v. Doe, No. S05A1992.

CourtGeorgia Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBenham
Citation626 S.E.2d 497,280 Ga. 306
Decision Date13 February 2006
Docket NumberNo. S05A1992.
PartiesALEXANDER PROPERTIES GROUP v. DOE et al.
280 Ga. 306
626 S.E.2d 497
ALEXANDER PROPERTIES GROUP
v.
DOE et al.
No. S05A1992.
Supreme Court of Georgia.
February 13, 2006.
Reconsideration Denied March 13, 2006.

Page 498

T. Ryan Mock, Jr., Christopher Shane Keith, Hawkins & Parnell, L.L.P., Atlanta, for Appellant.

Andrew Howard Agatston, Andrew H. Agatston, P.C., Matthew G. Nasrallah, Robertson Bodoh & Nasrallah, L.L.P., Hugh William Rowling Jr., Marietta, Thurbert E. Baker, Atty. Gen., Department of Law, Atlanta, for Appellee.

BENHAM, Justice.


We granted the application for interlocutory appeal filed by Alexander Properties Group, an entity which manages an apartment complex at which appellee Jane Doe was the victim of a gang rape/sexual molestation when she was 13, to review the trial court's grant of a protective order to the Cobb County District Attorney in the premises liability action brought by Doe's mother against Alexander Properties.

During the investigation of the criminal acts, a videotape made by the assailants of a significant portion of the assaults was seized and turned over to the Cobb County District Attorney, who successfully prosecuted the perpetrators. After Jane Doe filed this premises [280 Ga. 307] liability civil action, Alexander Properties sought a copy of the videotape from the DA and was refused. When Alexander Properties served the DA with a request for production of documents by a non-party under OCGA § 9-11-34(c), the DA sought a protective order pursuant to OCGA § 9-11-26(c), asserting, among other things, that giving to attorneys for Alexander Properties the requested material depicting a minor engaged in sexually-explicit conduct is a felony under OCGA § 16-12-100(b)(5), and the mere possession of the videotape by attorneys for Alexander Properties is a felony under OCGA § 16-12-110(b)(8).1 In response to the DA's motion, Alexander Properties filed a challenge to the constitutionality of OCGA § 16-12-100(b)(5) and (b)(8), contending the subsections violated the constitutional guarantees of due process, equal protection, trial by jury, and access to the courts. The trial court granted the DA's motion for a protective order after holding that the statutory subsections did not violate constitutional rights and concluding the DA would be subject to criminal liability should he be required to produce the tape. The trial court also issued a certificate of immediate

Page 499

review which Alexander Properties used to apply successfully to this Court for interlocutory review, which application we granted.

1. "Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action ... It is not ground for objection that the information sought will be inadmissible at the trial if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence...." OCGA § 9-11-26(b)(1). OCGA § 9-11-26(c) authorizes the trial court in which an action is pending, "[u]pon motion by a party or by the person from whom discovery is sought and for good cause shown, ... [to] make any order which justice requires to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense...." The grant or denial of a motion for protective order generally lies within the sound discretion of the trial court (Bridges v. 20th Century Travel, 149 Ga.App. 837, 839, 256 S.E.2d 102 (1979)), and the exercise of that discretion is reviewed on appeal for abuse. Fulton County Bd. of Assessors v. Saks Fifth Avenue, 248 Ga.App. 836, 842, 547 S.E.2d 620 (2001).

[280 Ga. 308] In the case at bar, the trial court ruled a protective order was necessary to protect the DA from being subjected to criminal liability under § 16-12-100(b)(5) for producing the videotape in response to the request for discovery from Alexander Properties. Because we conclude that § 16-12-100(b)(5) does not make criminal the act of producing the videotape in response to a court order or a request for discovery, we conclude the trial court abused its...

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32 practice notes
  • Advantage Behavioral Health Sys. v. Cleveland, A19A0656
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • June 17, 2019
    ...or denial of a motion for protective order using the abuse of discretion standard of review. Alexander Properties Group Inc. v. Doe , 280 Ga. 306, 307 (1), 626 S.E.2d 497 (2006) ; Mincey v. Ga. Dept. of Comm. Affairs , 308 Ga. App. 740, 744 (1), 708 S.E.2d 644 (2011). The appellate courts a......
  • Monumedia II, LLC v. Dep't of Transp., A17A0647
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • October 4, 2017
    ...Turner v. Ga. River Network, 297 Ga. 306, 308, 773 S.E.2d 706 (2015) (punctuation omitted); see also Alexander Props. Group, Inc. v. Doe, 280 Ga. 306, 309 (1), 626 S.E.2d 497 (2006) (holding that based on the principles of expressum facit cessare tacitum and expressio unius est exclusio alt......
  • SPI Holdco, LLC v. Mookerji, A21A0922, A21A0923
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • October 14, 2021
    ...specifically. It did not, and consequently it is bound by the broad language of the policy."). Cf. Alexander Props. Group, Inc. v. Doe , 280 Ga. 306, 309 (1), 626 S.E.2d 497 (2006) (holding, in the context of statutory construction, that based on the principles of expressum facit cessare ta......
  • Anderson v. Mergenhagen, No. A06A1752.
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • January 17, 2007
    ...denial of a motion for protective order generally lies within the sound discretion of the trial court." Alexander Properties Group v. Doe, 280 Ga. 306, 307(1), 626 S.E.2d 497 (2006). We therefore will not reverse absent an abuse of that discretion. Id. "The trial court is in the best positi......
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29 cases
  • Advantage Behavioral Health Sys. v. Cleveland, A19A0656
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • June 17, 2019
    ...or denial of a motion for protective order using the abuse of discretion standard of review. Alexander Properties Group Inc. v. Doe , 280 Ga. 306, 307 (1), 626 S.E.2d 497 (2006) ; Mincey v. Ga. Dept. of Comm. Affairs , 308 Ga. App. 740, 744 (1), 708 S.E.2d 644 (2011). The appellate courts a......
  • Monumedia II, LLC v. Dep't of Transp., A17A0647
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • October 4, 2017
    ...Turner v. Ga. River Network, 297 Ga. 306, 308, 773 S.E.2d 706 (2015) (punctuation omitted); see also Alexander Props. Group, Inc. v. Doe, 280 Ga. 306, 309 (1), 626 S.E.2d 497 (2006) (holding that based on the principles of expressum facit cessare tacitum and expressio unius est exclusio alt......
  • Allen v. Wright, No. S06G2018.
    • United States
    • Georgia Supreme Court
    • May 14, 2007
    ...omission of [additional actions] from [the statute] is regarded by the courts as deliberate. [Cits.] Alexander Properties Group v. Doe, 280 Ga. 306, 309(1), 626 S.E.2d 497 (2006). The dissent is correct that the established rules of statutory construction require the courts to interpret a s......
  • SPI Holdco, LLC v. Mookerji, A21A0922
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • October 14, 2021
    ...It did not, and consequently it is bound by the broad language of the policy."). Cf. Alexander Props. Group, Inc. v. Doe, 280 Ga. 306, 309 (1) (626 S.E.2d 497) (2006) (holding, in the context of statutory construction, that based on the principles of expressum facit cessare tacitum and......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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