Henry v. Griffin Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, A21A1775

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
Writing for the CourtPhipps, Senior Appellate Judge.
Citation362 Ga.App. 459,868 S.E.2d 827
Decision Date01 February 2022
Docket NumberA21A1775
Parties HENRY v. GRIFFIN CHRYSLER DODGE JEEP RAM.

362 Ga.App. 459
868 S.E.2d 827

HENRY
v.
GRIFFIN CHRYSLER DODGE JEEP RAM.

A21A1775

Court of Appeals of Georgia.

February 1, 2022


T. Michael Flinn, Carrollton, for Appellant.

Patrick Sheridan Reames, Atlanta, William Matthew Davis, for Appellee.

Phipps, Senior Appellate Judge.

868 S.E.2d 828
362 Ga.App. 459

Plaintiff Dennis Henry appeals from the grant of summary judgment to defendant Griffin Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram ("Griffin Chrysler") in this action brought under Georgia's Lemon Law, OCGA § 10-1-780 et seq., and Fair Business Practices Act ("FBPA"), OCGA § 10-1-390 et seq. Henry contends that the trial court improperly granted summary judgment based on the erroneous conclusion that the vehicle at issue here did not qualify for Lemon Law protection. For the reasons that follow, we disagree and affirm.

362 Ga.App. 460

Viewed in the light most favorable to Henry, the nonmoving party, see City of St. Marys v. Reed , 346 Ga. App. 508, 508-509, 816 S.E.2d 471 (2018), the record shows that Griffin Chrysler sold a new 2018 Ram 1500 pickup truck (the "Truck") to non-party Kevin Tison in June 2018.1 After Tison complained that the Truck shook when traveling at certain speeds, he traded it in to Griffin Chrysler for a new vehicle in August 2019.2 In connection with his trade-in, and as a result of Tison's complaints about the Truck, its manufacturer — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Inc. ("FCA") — issued a "Goodwill Satisfaction Allowance Certificate" providing for $2,500 to be applied toward Tison's purchase or lease of a new FCA vehicle. In November 2019, Griffin Chrysler sold the Truck to Henry.

In July 2020, Henry sued Griffin Chrysler, alleging that it failed to disclose to him that the Truck was a "manufacturer buyback" before he bought it, in violation of the Lemon Law and FBPA. Henry also alleged that Griffin Chrysler improperly refused to honor his revocation of acceptance of the Truck under the Uniform Commercial Code. As relief, Henry sought rescission of the sale, monetary damages, and an order "deny[ing Griffin Chrysler] any allowance for [Henry]’s use of the [Truck]."

Griffin Chrysler thereafter moved for summary judgment, contending that the Truck is not subject to the Lemon Law or FBPA because it was never reacquired by FCA, which, Griffin Chrysler asserted, also is fatal to Henry's revocation-of-acceptance claim. Following oral argument, the trial court granted summary judgment to Griffin Chrysler, concluding, in relevant part, that Henry's Lemon Law, FBPA, and revocation claims failed because there is no record evidence establishing either that FCA reacquired or replaced the Truck or that the Truck had a nonconformity, as required by the applicable statutory schemes. This appeal followed.

We review de novo a grant or denial of summary judgment, viewing the evidence and all reasonable conclusions and inferences drawn from it in the light most favorable to the nonmovant. City of St. Marys , 346 Ga. App. at 508-509, 816 S.E.2d 471. Summary judgment is proper when there is no genuine issue of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Id. at 508, 816 S.E.2d 471 ; see OCGA § 9-11-56 (c). "[T]he burden on the moving party may be discharged by pointing out by reference to the affidavits, depositions and other documents in the record that there is an absence of evidence to support the

362 Ga.App. 461

nonmoving party's case." Ellison v. Burger King Corp. , 294 Ga. App. 814, 819 (3) (a), 670 S.E.2d 469 (2008) (citation and punctuation omitted); see OCGA § 9-11-56 (c). If the movant meets this burden, the nonmovant "cannot rest on [his] pleadings, but rather must point to specific evidence giving rise to a triable issue." Ellison , 294 Ga. App. at 819 (3) (a), 670 S.E.2d 469 (citation and punctuation omitted); see OCGA § 9-11-56 (e).

1. As an initial matter, we deem abandoned Henry's passing, conclusory assertion in his appellate brief that the trial court erred by granting summary judgment while discovery was incomplete and a motion to compel was pending, which Henry has failed to distinctly enumerate as error or support with citation of authority or argument. See Court of Appeals Rule 25 (c) (1) ("The sequence of arguments in the briefs shall follow the order of the enumeration of errors, and shall be numbered accordingly."), (2) ("Any enumeration

868 S.E.2d 829

of error that is not supported in the brief by citation of authority or argument may be deemed abandoned."); Brittain v. State , 329 Ga. App. 689, 704 (4) (a), 766 S.E.2d 106 (2014) ("[A]n appellant must support enumerations of error with argument and citation of authority, and mere conclusory statements are not the type of meaningful argument contemplated by our rules.") (citations and punctuation omitted); Blanton v. State , 324 Ga. App. 610, 615 (2) (a), n. 10, 751 S.E.2d 431 (2013) (finding that the appellant abandoned a claim that certain testimony was hearsay by failing to cite any authority to support it).

2. In his first enumeration of error, Henry contends that the trial court erred by concluding that the Truck is not a "reacquired vehicle" under the Lemon Law. We disagree.

This enumeration of error involves statutory construction, which is a legal issue that we address de novo. See Hill v. First Atlantic Bank , 323 Ga. App. 731, 732, 747 S.E.2d 892 (2013). The statute at issue here, OCGA § 10-1-790 (a), provides:

No manufacturer, its authorized agent, new motor vehicle dealer, or other transferor shall knowingly resell, either at wholesale or retail, lease, transfer a title, or otherwise transfer a reacquired vehicle, including a vehicle reacquired under a similar statute of any other state, unless the vehicle is being sold for scrap and the manufacturer has notified the Attorney General of the proposed sale or:

(1) The fact of the
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1 practice notes
  • Britt v. State, A21A1695
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • February 1, 2022
    ...also, Allen , supra at 497-498 (2), 858 S.E.2d 731. One such waiver occurs when a non-indigent defendant fails to retain counsel. See 362 Ga.App. 459 Allen , supra at 499 (2) (b) (I), 858 S.E.2d 731. As Britt was indigent at the time of his appeal, this waiver fails to apply. However, funct......
1 cases
  • Britt v. State, A21A1695
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • February 1, 2022
    ...also, Allen , supra at 497-498 (2), 858 S.E.2d 731. One such waiver occurs when a non-indigent defendant fails to retain counsel. See 362 Ga.App. 459 Allen , supra at 499 (2) (b) (I), 858 S.E.2d 731. As Britt was indigent at the time of his appeal, this waiver fails to apply. However, funct......

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