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Staged procedures may be covered by Medicaid where shown to be medically necessary.

Topic: Medicaid Eligibility, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1737794 , Decision Date: 2017-08-25 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

DCH erred by denying prior Medicaid authorization for a bilateral nipple/areola reconstruction and nipple tattooing procedure incident to bilateral breast reduction surgery, the fact that both procedures were not performed simultaneously notwithstanding, where the surgeon seeking Medicaid coverage for the procedure proved, through his own [..] Read More..

Drainage structure for airport taxiways may be constructed within fifty feet of trout stream.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1740579 , Decision Date: 2017-10-11 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Paulding County Airport Authority (PCAA) did not require a buffer variance in order to obtain coverage under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit for the purpose of piping a trout stream because the pipe constituted a roadway drainage structure and was therefore exempt from the [..] Read More..

Food stamp applicant presented sufficient evidence of recurring expenses for prescription drugs.

Topic: Public Assistance, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: ******* , Decision Date: 2017-08-29 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Two printouts from medical insurance provider evidencing that a food stamp applicant made two payments for prescription medication in separate months and that each refill was for a 30 days’ supply, together with a note from the beneficiary’s doctor, sufficiently demonstrated that the applicant’s medical [..] Read More..

Operator of inert landfill did not have vested right to permit.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1729095 , Decision Date: 2017-09-25 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Under amendments to the regulations of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protections Division (“EPD”), owners and operators of inert landfills were required to either obtain a solid waste handling permit or a certification from a professional engineer stating that their facilities were in [..] Read More..

Petitioner did not receive earned income such as would disqualify him from Senior SNAP.

Topic: Public Assistance, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: ******* , Decision Date: 2017-01-30 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Vague, second-hand testimony to the effect that a recipient of food stamp benefits under “Senior SNAP” was working as a “self-employed electrician” insufficient to disqualify him from the program.

Officer’s POST certificate revoked after she abandoned her post to have an inmate perform cosmetic services on her.

Topic: Professional Licensing, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1712780 , Decision Date: 2017-01-05 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council appropriately revoked the POST certification of a corrections officer after she abandoned her assigned post at Hancock State Prison in order to have an inmate perform unauthorized cosmetic services on her elsewhere in the facility.

Transfer penalty inappropriate because real property was sold for current market value.

Topic: Medicaid Eligibility, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: ******* , Decision Date: 2017-01-10 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

A nursing home resident proved that his property was worth significantly less than was alleged by the Division of Family and Children Services by submitting the affidavit of a realtor and a retroactive broker’s price opinion.  Therefore, DFCS’s assessment of a transfer of assets penalty [..] Read More..

The agency failed to support its position that blindness/hearing loss were not functional impairments.

Topic: Medicaid Eligibility, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: ******* , Decision Date: 2017-06-08 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Department of Community Health failed to support its argument that a SOURCE beneficiary could not show that she met the level of care requirements through evidence of blindness and partial hearing loss because such deficits did not constitute “functional impairments” covered by the Program.

Incidental beneficiary to sale of dealership lacked standing under Franchise Practices Act.

Topic: Franchise Practices Act, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1635899 , Decision Date: 2016-05-25 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Welborn Chevrolet, a motor vehicle dealer, challenged General Motors’ (GM’s) refusal to approve of an agreement between two other dealers.  The agreement, if finalized, would have resulted in the relocation of a Buick-GMC dealership such that it would share a location with Welborn Chevrolet’s dealership.  [..] Read More..

Traffic stop did not commence when officer briefly activated emergency lights.

Topic: DUI, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1635960 , Decision Date: 2016-05-25 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

An officer’s activation of emergency lights may constitute a “show of authority” effectuating a seizure.  However, activation of blue lights is not irrefutable evidence of a traffic stop; whether an individual has been seized must be determined by analyzing “all of the circumstances surrounding the [..] Read More..

Registered nurse suspended indefinitely for diverting controlled substances for personal use.

Topic: Professional Licensing, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1634115 , Decision Date: 2016-04-11 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

While working in the emergency room of a hospital, a registered nurse repeatedly withdrew controlled substances from an automated medication administration machine, and failed to document that she thereafter administered them to patients.  The results of a drug screen indicated that the nurse had three [..] Read More..

Doctor subject only to sanctions that are supported with evidence.

Topic: Professional Licensing, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1620386 , Decision Date: 2016-02-03 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Georgia Composite Medical Board (“the Board”) sought to fine a doctor for failing to employ adequate diagnostic, examination, treatment, and recordkeeping procedures in his treatment of one patient.  Additionally, the Board requested that the doctor pay $265.00 as reimbursement for the peer review, and [..] Read More..

In DUI arrest, state failed to establish probable cause given totality of the evidence.

Topic: DUI, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1614221 , Decision Date: 2015-12-31 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Minor driving infractions (speeding, crossing the dashed lane marker, slightly grazing curb upon stopping), watery eyes, and moderate odor of alcohol, were insufficient to demonstrate probable cause when weighed against clear indicia that the driver was not intoxicated, including his clear speech, normal gait, and [..] Read More..

Qualified aliens subject to five-year waiting period before receiving Medicaid.

Topic: Public Assistance, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: 2015-10-07 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner and his family, all of whom entered the United States legally in 2012, were ineligible for Medicaid during a mandatory five-year “waiting period” absent a showing that they met a statutorily-prescribed exception.

Affidavits to support opposition to a motion for summary determination must be sworn.

Topic: Professional Licensing, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1444768 , Decision Date: 2015-08-18 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

A physician attached two affidavits to her response to the Georgia Composite Medical Board’s (“Board’s”) motion for summary determination.  The two affidavits, one of which was unsigned, and neither of which was sworn to in person before a notary public or other officer empowered to [..] Read More..

Personal testimony, change in address on driver’s license insufficient evidence of residency.

Topic: Elections, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1555803 , Decision Date: 2015-06-08 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision on appeal. 

A candidate for State House affirmatively established that he resided in the district for which he sought office approximately eleven months prior to the date of the election.  However, the only evidence the candidate presented to support his contention that he resided in the district [..] Read More..

The Court again declined to apply Williams in a subsequent case held before Judge Michael Malihi.

Topic: DUI, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1511892 , Decision Date: 2015-05-07 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Arresting officers need not ensure that DUI suspects understand implied consent notice.

Topic: DUI, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1530697 , Decision Date: 2015-03-23 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision on appeal. 

The fact that an arresting officer read a DUI suspect the implied consent notice shortly after advising him of his Miranda rights, including his right to an attorney, did not render the implied consent notice defective.  Because the arresting officer read the applicable implied consent [..] Read More..

Decision to refrain from performing operation reasonable under the circumstances.

Topic: Professional Licensing, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1511102 , Decision Date: 2015-03-20 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Georgia Composite Medical Board sought disciplinary action against a surgeon for his decision not to immediately operate on a patient displaying signs of infection, but rather to wait until the following morning.  However, considering the risks of immediate surgery given the patient’s unstable condition [..] Read More..

Deposition transcripts from prior malpractice case admissible over hearsay objection, Daubert challenge.

Topic: Professional Licensing, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1511102 , Decision Date: 2015-02-09 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Transcripts from a deposition in a prior medical malpractice lawsuit involving the same facts giving rise to the Georgia Composite Medical Board’s disciplinary action against Respondent, a surgeon, were admissible under a hearsay exception because the Board demonstrated that the witnesses were unavailable and Respondent [..] Read More..

Testimony consisting of witnesses’ interpretation of statutory provision improper and irrelevant.

Topic: Procedure, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1512455 , Decision Date: 2015-02-20 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

After exchanging witness lists, the parties filed various motions seeking to exclude the testimony of various witnesses at the evidentiary hearing, citing evidentiary law governing relevance and expert and lay witness testimony.  In response, the Court issued an order outlining the general rules that would [..] Read More..

Failure to accommodate request for independent test renders state’s test results inadmissible.

Topic: DUI, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1500263 , Decision Date: 2015-02-11 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The arresting officer obtained an additional state-administered chemical test in response to a DUI suspect’s invocation of her right to an independent test.  Provision of the second state-administered test was insufficient to meet the statutory requirement that the arresting officer make efforts to accommodate the [..] Read More..

Unsupported breathalyzer test results not considered in appropriateness of sanction.

Topic: Educators, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1512159 , Decision Date: 2015-03-03 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The results of a breathalyzer test obtained from an educator who came to school intoxicated were not admissible in the determination of the appropriateness of her sanction.  Because the technician who administered the test did not testify at the evidentiary hearing, inclusion of the test [..] Read More..

Suspect placed in handcuffs for transport to hospital was under custodial arrest absent indicia to the contrary.

Topic: DUI, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1446835 , Decision Date: 2014-11-10 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

An arresting officer’s testimony that he placed a suspect in handcuffs for transport to the hospital by ambulance sufficiently established that the suspect was under custodial arrest.  The officer’s subsequent reading of the implied consent notice was therefore proper and timely.

Need to respond to four-vehicle collision justified delay in reading implied consent.

Topic: DUI, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1454144 , Decision Date: 2014-11-07 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

An arresting officer’s delay in reading the implied consent notice to Petitioner was excusable in light of the ongoing exigencies presented by a four-vehicle car crash.

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