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Convicted felons may not register to vote absent pardon or restoration of voting rights.

Topic: Elections, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1516735 , Decision Date: 2014-12-09 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Respondent, a convicted felon, violated state law by registering to vote without having pardoned or having had his rights restored.  Accordingly, he was ordered to cease and desist from violating election laws and subject to a $250.00 fine and public reprimand.

State bears the burden of demonstrating that a SOURCE recipient’s communication deficits are caused by a non-covered diagnosis.

Topic: Health Law, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: 2014-10-27 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner, a SOURCE recipient, was entitled to remain on the SOURCE Program absent evidence that her severe communication deficits were attributable to developmental or psychiatric diagnoses, which are not covered by SOURCE.

Driver’s initial encounter with the Trooper did not escalate into a custodial arrest.

Topic: DUI, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1439471 , Decision Date: 2014-07-21 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Trooper’s statement that he observed indicia of intoxication did not elevate the police-citizen encounter to a third-tier custodial arrest.  Rather, the Trooper’s statement amounted to an explanation of his request for field sobriety tests.  The statements certainly did not constitute a formal arrest.  Moreover, [..] Read More..

Deadline for filing challenges to the qualifications of candidates is exactly two weeks from the close of qualifying at 12:00 Noon.

Topic: Elections, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1101550 , Decision Date: 2010-08-06 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner, Justin Chaney, challenged Adrienne Hunter-Strothers’ qualifications to run as a candidate for the Georgia Court of Appeals.  Petitioner filed his challenge at 1:40 p.m. on July 16, 2010, precisely two weeks, one hour and forty minutes after the close of the qualifying period at [..] Read More..

Admission to practice law in another state may fulfill the Georgia Constitution’s requirement that potential judges “shall have been admitted to practice law for seven years.”

Topic: Elections, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1104352 , Decision Date: 2010-09-08 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Georgia Constitution provides that “[a]ppellate and superior court judges shall have been admitted to practice law for seven years.” Secretary of State Brian Kemp challenged Ms. Adrienne Hunter-Strother’s candidacy for the Georgia Court of Appeals asserting that the valid date for determination of her [..] Read More..

Homestead exemption is not the sole factor in determining a candidate’s legal residence.

Topic: Elections, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 0831497 , Decision Date: 2008-06-24 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision on appeal. 

Secretary of State Karen Handel challenged James Powell’s qualification to be a candidate for Public Service Commission, District 4, asserting that Powell’s homestead exemption for an address in Cobb County demonstrated that he resided outside of District 4.  Judge Michael Malihi concluded that Powell produced [..] Read More..

Individual sanctioned for submitting absentee ballot application using the name of her deceased mother.

Topic: Elections, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1315920 , Decision Date: 2012-12-03 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Individual who submitted an absentee ballot application in the name of her deceased mother subject to a fine and public reprimand for violations of election laws.

Candidate, Ralph David Abernathy III, disqualified from running for State Senate seat due to bounced check.

Topic: Elections, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 98-005-60 , Decision Date: 1998-07-08 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Mr. Ralph David Abernathy III, the incumbent Senator for Senate District 38, submitted a personal check to pay his qualifying fee.  When this personal check was returned for insufficient funds after the close of the qualifying period, the Secretary of State was authorized to remove [..] Read More..

Residency in Georgia for two years and residency in district for one year required.

Topic: Elections, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 0829726 , Decision Date: 2008-07-10 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Respondent was not qualified to be candidate for House District 80, because he did not meet his burden of proof to show he had been a citizen of the State of Georgia for two years and a resident of House District 80 for one year [..] Read More..

Non-Georgia resident may not run for state office.

Topic: Elections, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 08995 , Decision Date: 2006-10-30 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Respondent does not meet the residency requirements to qualify as a candidate for State Senate District 1. Respondent reported his cousin’s home address in Savannah as his own.  In rebuttal, three neighbors testified that they had never seen Respondent or his vehicle at the Savannah [..] Read More..

Homestead exemption only one factor in determining residency.

Topic: Elections, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1136726 , Decision Date: 2011-07-12 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Respondent met the minimum evidentiary burden to show that he had been a legal resident in the county where he sought a House District seat at least one year prior to the date of the election.  Respondent presented a lease agreement for a residence in [..] Read More..

President Barack Obama eligible for candidacy in the 2012 Presidential Election.

Topic: Elections, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1215136 , Decision Date: 2012-02-03 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Plaintiffs alleged that President Barack Obama was not a “natural born citizen” of the United States as required by Article II of the United States Constitution and was therefore ineligible to run for the office of President of the United States.  Plaintiffs produced no competent [..] Read More..

Senate candidate established residency by demonstrating physical presence in the district and intent to remain.

Topic: Elections, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1411739 , Decision Date: 2013-10-17 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Georgia Constitution requires candidates for State Senate to have been legal residents of the district in which they are running for at least one year preceding the date of the election.  In December 2011, Matthew Laughridge, a Republican candidate for State Senate District Fourteen, [..] Read More..

A mortgage lender’s license may be revoked for employing convicted felons.

Topic: Banking and Finance, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1427836 , Decision Date: 2014-06-26 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Department of Banking and Finance may revoke a license if it is determined that a mortgage lender, licensee, or any person who is an employee of the mortgage lender or licensee has been convicted of a felony in any jurisdiction or of a crime which, [..] Read More..

OSAH News: Rule Amendments to go into Effect on June 10, 2014

Topic: Court News, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number:  , Decision Date:  
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

On May 21, 2014, OSAH filed two rule amendments with the Georgia Office of the Secretary of State. The first amended OSAH Rule 22 to allow judges discretion to permit a portion of a hearing to be conducted by remote telephonic communication, including two-way video-conferencing. [..] Read More..

Home modification covered under the Independent Care Waiver Program.

Topic: Health Law, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: ******* , Decision Date: 2014-05-13 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Respondent, the Department of Community Health, Division of Medical Assistance incorrectly denied Petitioner’s request to have an automated door and lock installed on her home.  Petitioner, an individual with spinal muscular atrophy, established that the installation met the definition of an environmental modification covered under [..] Read More..

Redistricting caused candidate’s residence to fall outside Senate District.

Topic: Elections, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1452369 , Decision Date: 2014-05-16 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

A senatorial candidate seeking office in Senate District 48 did not meet residency requirements that would enable him to run for office in that district because a redistricting plan, effective at the beginning of the 2014 election cycle, placed his home address within Senate District [..] Read More..

Georgia law favors public trials that are open to the press and public.

Topic: Professional Licensing, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1444768 , Decision Date: 2014-04-30 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Considering the seriousness of the allegations against a doctor in a medical licensure disciplinary hearing, there is a particularly strong need for an open courtroom.  Allowing electronic media coverage of portions of the hearing would “increase public access to the courts and openness of judicial [..] Read More..

Administrative Law Section Reception

Topic: Court News, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number:  , Decision Date:  
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Administrative Law Section Officers Shoshana Elon, Judge Patrick Woodard and Judge Michael Malihi Shoshana Elon, Judge Michael Malihi, Judge Ana Kennedy, Judge Stephanie Howells and Elizabeth Brooks, Esq. OSAH Attorneys Laurin McDonald and Shoshana Elon, Judge Michael Malihi   The Administrative Law Section of the [..] Read More..

OSAH judges and attorneys attend State Bar of Georgia’s Constitutional Symposium

Topic: Court News, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number:  , Decision Date:  
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Judges Michael Malihi, Barbara Brown, Lois Oakley, Stephanie Howells, Steve Teate, and Ana Kennedy, along with OSAH staff attorneys Dominic Capraro, Shoshana Elon, and Laurin McDonald, and budget administrator Dan Dollar, attended the symposium celebrating the Constitution 225 years after its ratification. The three-day symposium, [..] Read More..

Emory University School of Law, Atlanta Legal Aid Society and OSAH launch the Public Benefits Project.

Topic: Court News, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number:  , Decision Date:  
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

  OSAH is pleased to announce the inauguration of the Public Benefits Project in partnership with Emory University School of Law and Atlanta Legal Aid Society. As of February 2014, nineteen Emory Law students, under the supervision of Atlanta Legal Aid Attorney Nancy Rhinehart, will [..] Read More..

The collective knowledge doctrine does not negate a hearsay objection.

Topic: DUI, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1418740 , Decision Date: 2014-01-24 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The collective knowledge doctrine acknowledges that officers are justified in relying on the statements of other officers in forming reasonable suspicion.  The doctrine does not, however, allow for the arresting officer to establish that the detaining officer had reasonable suspicion necessary to conduct a traffic [..] Read More..

Appeal timely filed within thirty days of date on denial letter.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1417598 , Decision Date: 2014-01-17 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

State improperly dismissed Petitioner’s appeal as untimely.  Petitioner filed the appeal within thirty days of the date on the face of the letter but more than thirty days after receiving it in the mail.  Petitioner was entitled to rely on the date of letter as [..] Read More..

An owner or administrator with a criminal record may not operate a personal care home.

Topic: Health Law, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1420852 , Decision Date: 2014-01-17 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Georgia law forbids the State from issuing a Personal Care Home license to any applicant with a criminal record.  However, it is not enough for the owner or administrator to have committed any violation of the law.  The violation for which the owner has been [..] Read More..

Facility fined because inadequate staff training endangered a resident.

Topic: Health Law, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1420851 , Decision Date: 2014-01-17 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Healthcare Facility Regulation Division of the Department of Community Health appropriately fined Petitioner, a Community Living Arrangement (CLA), for its failure to train its staff to address a resident’s Behavioral Support Program. The failure to train violated CLA rules, which require a facility to [..] Read More..

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