Monday, January 6, 2014

Grand Lodge of Georgia v. City of Thomasville case brief

Grand Lodge of Georgia v. City of Thomasville case brief summary
226 Ga. 4 (1970)

Defendant grantee appealed from a judgment of the Thomas Superior Court (Georgia), which granted plaintiff grantors' motion for judgment on the pleadings to the extent of allowing recovery of the land that was the subject of the instant action that sought legal title. The trial court had denied the grantee's motion for judgment on the pleadings.

The grantors filed an action to recover the land upon legal title, alleging that they had acquired the property by described valid deed, and that deeds of gift from them purporting to convey title to the grantee were void for the reason that neither the county nor the city had legal authority to give the property away.


  • On appeal from judgment on the pleadings in favor of the grantors, the court affirmed in part and reversed in part. 
  • The court held that it was proper to deny judgment on the pleadings to the grantee, however, an issue of fact as to the grantors' prior possession required a trial. 
  • Accordingly, it was error to grant judgment on the pleadings to the grantors. 
  • The court noted that the deed under which the grantors claimed title was void for indefiniteness of description. 
  • Accordingly, the grantors had to show superior title to that of the grantee by reason of having been in possession of the land prior to making the deed to him, pursuant to Ga. Code Ann. § 33-102. 
  • The grantee's deed from the county and city were invalid because they had no authority to make the deed of gift. 
  • The grantee could not claim adverse possession because that did not run against public property.

The court affirmed the trial court's order denying the grantee judgment on the pleadings in the grantors' action seeking title to the land. The court reversed the order that granted judgment on the pleadings to the grantors and directed that trial be had.

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