City of Conyers v. Sampson, A21A1656

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
Writing for the CourtMercier, Judge.
Citation362 Ga.App. 301,868 S.E.2d 283
Docket NumberA21A1656
Decision Date19 January 2022

362 Ga.App. 301
868 S.E.2d 283



Court of Appeals of Georgia.

January 19, 2022

868 S.E.2d 284

Sun S. Choy, Steven L. Grunberg Grunberg, Atlanta, for Appellant.

Michael Thomas Bennett Jr., for Appellee.

Mercier, Judge.

362 Ga.App. 301

Troy Sampson filed an action against the City of Conyers, Rockdale County, and other parties, claiming that he fell and was injured due to an uncovered manhole. The City filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that Sampson's ante litem notice failed to comply with the notice provisions of OCGA § 36-33-5. The trial court denied the City's motion but issued a certificate of immediate review. We granted the City's application for interlocutory review, and this appeal followed. We reverse.

The appellate court reviews the denial of a motion to dismiss de novo. Tanks v. Nesmith , 359 Ga. App. 596, 859 S.E.2d 559 (2021). Further, "a motion to dismiss should not be granted unless the allegations of the complaint disclose with certainty that the claimant would not be entitled to relief under any state of provable facts asserted in support thereof. We construe the pleadings in the light most favorable to the plaintiff with any doubts resolved in the plaintiff's favor." Id. (citation and punctuation omitted).

The record reveals that Sampson filed a complaint against the City, the County, Family Entertainment, Inc., and five John Does alleging that he "fell due to [a] hazardous uncovered manhole of the area around the sidewalk in 1047 Flat Shoals Rd. SE, Rockdale

362 Ga.App. 302

County, Conyers, Ga 30316." Sampson sent an ante litem notice to the City and the County asserting:

The claims against Rockdale County, Georgia and the City of Conyers, Georgia are based upon the negligence and recklessness for not maintaining the cover for the manhole and/or its cover, and for not confirming that the cover was not missing, and or not warning pedestrians of the missing manhole cover, on a path frequented and used by pedestrians. The notice stated further: "The amount of the claim is $500,000.00, which Troy Sampson believes to be within the limits of insurance."

The City moved to dismiss Sampson's complaint on the ground that the ante litem notice did not comply with OCGA § 36-33-5 (e) which requires the notice to state the specific amount being sought from the City. It argued that Sampson only stated the amount of his claim, and because the notice was sent to the City and the County, "it was impossible for the City to determine if [Sampson] was requesting it to pay the entire $500,000, half the amount or some combination that totals $500,000." The trial court denied the City's motion to dismiss, finding that

868 S.E.2d 285
[a]lthough the ante litem notice was sent to [the City] and Rockdale County, [the City] failed to show a requirement to provide

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