Georgia Supreme Court dismisses appeal as moot where disqualification period had already expired.

Topic: Public Health, Decided by: Judge Gatto 
Docket Number: 1114919 , Decision Date: February 3, 2011 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision on appeal. 

In February 2011, Judge John B. Gatto modified the Department of Community Health’s one-year disqualification of Babies Right Start, Inc. (BRS) to a six months’ probationary period in the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).  An Agency Appeals Reviewer reversed Judge Gatto’s decision.   In appealing DCH’s final decision, BRS did not seek an injunction to maintain the status quo pending review and, thus, the WIC disqualification took effect.  On September 9, 2013, the Supreme Court of Georgia vacated the judgment as moot and remanded the case to the trial court with direction to dismiss.  First, BRS’s request for mandamus and injunctive relief and for a declaratory judgment that the disqualification was improper could have no effect now that the disqualification period had expired.   Second, it determined that a general request for “other relief” was insufficient to establish a specific prayer for damages or address a breach of contract claim.  Finally, the case did not fit within the exception to mootness for cases that are “capable of repetition, yet evading review.”

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