Graham v. Ault, S96A0283

CourtSupreme Court of Georgia
Writing for the CourtBENHAM
Citation466 S.E.2d 213,266 Ga. 367
PartiesGRAHAM v. AULT, Commissioner.
Docket NumberNo. S96A0283,S96A0283
Decision Date12 February 1996

Page 213

466 S.E.2d 213
266 Ga. 367

AULT, Commissioner.
No. S96A0283.
Supreme Court of Georgia.
Feb. 12, 1996.
Reconsideration Dismissed March 11, 1996.

[266 Ga. 368] Fulton County Superior; Frank M. Eldridge, Trial Judge.

Joe Graham, Glennville, for Joe Graham, Jr.

Michael J. Bowers, Atty. Gen., Department of Law, Atlanta, for Allen Ault.

[266 Ga. 367] BENHAM, Chief Justice.

Appellant Joe Graham, Jr. is a prisoner in a state correctional institution. Acting pro se, he sought to file a petition for mandamus as an indigent person. The petition was a form pleading which Graham completed by writing "Please see attached petition and brief" in every blank space. Acting pursuant to OCGA § 9-15-2(d), the clerk of the superior court presented the pleading to a superior court judge for review before filing. The trial court denied Graham's request to file the pleading in forma pauperis after determining that the complaint showed a complete absence of any justiciable issue of law or fact such that it could not reasonably be believed that a court could grant any relief. OCGA § 9-15-2(d).

1. A court examining a pro se complaint should hold it to less stringent standards than those applied to pleadings drafted by attorneys, and should deny filing "only if 'it appears beyond doubt that the appellant can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.' [Cits.]" Washington v. Rucker, 202 Ga.App. 888, 415 S.E.2d 919 (1992). The pleading need not set out all the issues with particularity, but only place the defendant on notice of the claim against him. Hawkins v. Rice, 203 Ga.App. 537, 417 S.E.2d 174 (1992).

2. The appellate record in the case at bar does not contain the pleadings and brief appellant purportedly attached to his form petition for mandamus, and the superior court clerk has been unable to ascertain the existence of the attached documentation. From the trial court's order and appellant's brief, we are able to ascertain that appellant sought to have records in the custody of the Department of Corrections made available to him. The trial court's order denying filing refers to the Open Records Act, noting that Graham had not stated whether the "requested

Page 214

documents" were within the purview of the Act and if any exception prevented their disclosure to appellant. Appellant's brief to this Court makes it clear that he sought mandamus relief after the Department of Corrections denied his request...

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11 cases
  • CNL Ins. America v. Moreland, A96A1961
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • 19 March 1997
    ...A brief cannot be used in lieu of the record for adding evidence." (Citation and punctuation omitted.) Id. See also Graham v. Ault, 266 Ga. 367(2), 466 S.E.2d 213 (1996) (appellate court cannot consider facts which do not appear in the record sent from the trial court); Bertone v. Wilkinson......
  • Arnold v. Word, A20A0675
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • 25 June 2020, and our review is confined to the record before the trial court when it ruled in the present case. See generally Graham v. Ault , 266 Ga. 367 (2), 466 S.E.2d 213 (1996) (appellate court cannot consider facts which do not appear in the record sent from the trial court).3 The trial cour......
  • Spencer v. State, S16G1751.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • 2 October 2017 this Court. "[A]ttaching documents to briefs cannot be used as a procedural device to add evidence to the record." Graham v. Ault, 266 Ga. 367, 368 (2), 466 S.E.2d 213 (1996) ; see also Union v. State, 273 Ga. 666, 667 n.1, 543 S.E.2d 683...
  • Peterson v. Beasley, S01A1232.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • 25 March 2002
    ...upon the defendants' exhibits. Ms. Peterson, as the appellant, has the affirmative burden of showing error by the record. Graham v. Ault, 266 Ga. 367(2), 466 S.E.2d 213 (1996); Forio v. Forio, 217 Ga. 813, 814(2), 125 S.E.2d 486 (1962); Cobb v. DeLong, 216 Ga. 794, 797, 120 S.E.2d 177 (1961......
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