Saturday, June 4, 2016

How to Extend The Time to File a Caveat (Objection) to a Last Will and Testament



How to Extend The Time to File a Caveat (Objection) to a Last Will and Testament.
 
            Or:    

            How to Save Your Bacon and Avoid calling your E&O Carrier.


Your client calls and has been served with (Form 5) [1]  a Petition to Probate a Last Will and Testament in Solemn Form (Petition).  That call came in two (2) weeks ago.  Two (2) weeks is not a very long time, but in Georgia probate it is an eternity.  Generally, your client only has 10 days (plus three (3) days for mail) to file a Caveat or an Objection to the Last Will and Testament or ---- you client is out of probate court.

Don’t panic.  Unless, the Petition has been sitting on your desk for two (2) weeks while you were binge drinking in Cancun, Mexico.

FIRST:

Read the Petition carefully.  We have had some success in spotting address errors on the Petition.  Many times the Petitioner or the Court will cooperate with timing issues, if the Petition contains errors on its face (and many do).

If you are beyond the time and there are no errors, then:

SECOND:

Move to open default and pay the costs.  You have the absolute statutory right to open default for an additional fifteen (15) days.  For some reason practitioners seem to know this exists for use in the Superior Courts, but overlook the obvious and simplistic application in the Probate Courts.

                 The Georgia Civil Practice Act (CPA) applies to proceedings in probate court to "under OCGA § 9-11-1; the CPA applies ‘all courts of record in this state and all actions of a civil nature whether cognizable as cases at law or in equity, with exceptions as stated in Code § 9-11-81.’  Cochran v. McCollum, 233 Ga. 104, 210 S.E.2d 13 (1974) a probate court is a court of record.  Id.  Thus, the provisions of the CPA apply in probate court, except as provided in OCGA § 9-11-81."  Greene, et al. v. Woodard, 198 Ga. App. 427, 401 S.E.2d 617 (1991).  [2]

OCGA  § 9-11-55 under the Civil Practice Act states as follows:

(a)          When case in default; opening as matter of right; judgment. If in any case an answer has not been filed within the time required by this chapter, the case shall automatically become in default unless the time for filing the answer has been extended as provided by law.

The default may be opened as a matter of right by the filing of such defenses within 15 days of the day of default, upon the payment of costs. If the case is still in default after the expiration of the period of 15 days, the plaintiff at any time thereafter shall be entitled to verdict and judgment by default, in open court or in chambers, as if every item and paragraph of the complaint or other original pleading were supported by proper evidence, without the intervention of a jury, unless the action is one ex delicto or involves unliquidated damages, in which event the plaintiff shall be required to introduce evidence and establish the amount of damages before the court without a jury, with the right of the defendant to introduce evidence as to damages and the right of either to move for a new trial in respect of such damages; provided, however, in the event a defendant, though in default, has placed damages in issue by filing a pleading raising such issue, either party shall be entitled, upon demand, to a jury trial of the issue as to damages.

An action based upon open account shall not be considered one for unliquidated damages within the meaning of this Code section.

                Thus under the procedural aspects to be applied in probate court, OCGA § 9-11-55 a defendant or respondent can open default as a matter of right by filing its answer, affirmative defenses and the other pleadings.  Defendant has within 15 days of going into default to open default.  This can be done as long as there is payment of costs.  OCGA § 9-11-55(a).  Costs MUST BE PAID or the opening of default is defective. 



THIRD:

If you are beyond twenty five (25) days, it is bad.  But, all is not lost.

File a Motion to Open Default.

OCGA § 9-11-55

(b)          Opening default. At any time before final judgment, the court, in its discretion, upon payment of costs, may allow the default to be opened for providential cause preventing the filing of required pleadings or for excusable neglect or where the judge, from all the facts, shall determine that a proper case has been made for the default to be opened, on terms to be fixed by the court. In order to allow the default to be thus opened, the showing shall be made under oath, shall set up a meritorious defense, shall offer to plead instanter, and shall announce ready to proceed with the trial.

                Notice that OCGA § 9-11-55, though styled in a similar fashion to the probate statute, is procedural whereas OCGA § 15-9-47 is the substantive default statute in probate court.  Default judgments in probate court are governed by OCGA § 15-9-47 “Default Judgments in Probate Court”.  That statute states in its entirety:

Notwithstanding any provisions of Chapter 11 of Title 9, if in any case pending before the probate court an answer, caveat, or other responsive pleading has not been filed within the time required by law or by lawful order of the court, the case shall automatically become in default unless the time for filing the answer, caveat, or other responsive pleading has been extended as provided by law. The petitioner at any time thereafter shall be entitled to verdict and judgment by default, in open court or in chambers, as if every item and paragraph of the petition or other pleadings filed in the matter were supported by proper evidence. At any time before final judgment, the court, in its discretion, upon payment of costs, may allow the default to open for providential cause preventing the filing of required pleadings or for excusable neglect or where the judge, from all the facts, shall determine that a proper case has been made for the default to open, on terms to be fixed by the court. In order for the default to be thus opened, the showing shall be made under oath, shall set up a meritorious defense, shall offer to plead instanter, and shall announce ready to proceed with the hearing in the matter.

                OCGA § 15-9-47 contains the same language in the Civil Practice Act for opening default for providential cause.  Thus, it is similar to OCGA § 9-11-55(b).    Before judgment is entered, the probate court under OCGA 15-9-47 may open default for the same three grounds as stated in OCGA § 9-11-55(b).  They are:  (1), providential cause, (2) excusable neglect – no willful disregard for the timing, and (3) where from a review of all the facts that judge can determine that a proper case has been made for opening default.

                The defendant or respondent must prove one of the three elements to open default.  A proper case for opening default under the third provision of OCGA § 15-9-47 is that respondent must (1) show a proper reason that default should be opened (sworn testimony), (2) the defendant or respondent must be able to make out an immediate meritorious defense, (3) the respondent must be ready to stand and defend him or herself instanter, and the respondent must be ready to proceed immediately to trial.  By analogy, see, C.W. Matthews Contracting Company vs. Walker, 197 Ga. App. 345, 398 S.W.2d 297 (1990). 

                The probate court has broad discretion to open default (assuming the underlying elements are presented to the court) and the probate court will not be reversed absent an abuse of discretion.  In Re Estate of Loyd, 328 Ga. App. 287, 761 S.E.2d 833 (2014), [3] citing Simmons v. Harms, 287 Ga. 176, 178, 695 S.E.2d 38 (2010).

                It would appear that the court has the power to open default up to either the entry of a judgment.  In In Re the Estate of Loyd at 291, the court found that Ten (10) months was excessive and there was no abuse of discretion by the probate court to refuse to open default for the motion being untimely at Ten (10) months.  By analogy in a non-probate case, the Court of Appeals found that the 4 months was upheld as untimely.  See, Evers v. Money Masters Inc., 203 Ga. App. 546, 417 S.E.2d 160 (1992).  Thus, there seems to be some latitude and no set bright line with regard to when a motion to open default may be considered by the trial court [in this case, the probate court]. 

                So, if you find your client in a situation where the client missed the 10-day or 13‑day time frame to file a caveat and the client has missed the 25-day window to open default as a matter of right, don't lose all hope.  If you can make out, for your client, the three opening default provisions as stated in OCGA § 15-9-47, immediately file a motion to open default. 

                Happy Caveating. 

Hugh Wood, Esq.
Wood & Meredith, LLP
3756 LaVista Road
Suite 250
Atlanta (Tucker), GA 30084

www.woodandmeredith.com
hwood@woodandmeredith.com
www.hughwood.blogspot.com
Phone: 404-633-4100
Fax: 404-633-0068

& & &

Endnotes:

[1]

Form 5.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/314288633/Petition-to-Probate-Will-in-Solemn-Form-Georgia-Probate-Form-5
[2]

Greene, et al. v. Woodard, 198 Ga. App. 427, 401 S.E.2d 617 (1991). 

BEASLEY, Judge.
Year's support. Gwinnett Probate Court. Before Judge Meyer.
The question is whether OCGA 9-11-55 (a), a section of the Civil Practice Act regarding the opening of default judgments, governs an application for year's support and caveat filed in probate court. We conclude that it does.
Virginia Martin Woodard died testate on April 16, 1990, leaving as her heirs at law her husband, who is the appellee, and four daughters by a prior marriage, who are the appellants.
On May 4, 1990, the husband applied for year's support in the probate court. The daughters were served by mail with a copy of the application and a citation ordering them to show cause by "on or before 10:00 a.m. on the first Monday in June 4th 1990, next, why said application should not be granted."
During the afternoon of June 4, the daughters sought to file a caveat to the application and a demand for jury trial. The deputy clerk of the probate court informed their counsel that the caveat was not timely filed. Later that day, counsel attempted to pay costs and open the default as a matter of right under OCGA 9-11-55 (a). The deputy clerk refused to accept the check.
On June 18, the daughters filed a "notice of opening default" and submitted a check for costs. The clerk's office allowed this notice to be filed and cashed the check. Later they filed a request for jury trial.
On July 9, the probate court judge denied the caveat and dismissed the "notice of opening default." He ruled that the provisions of the CPA relating to the opening of default judgments under OCGA 9-11-55 (a) do not apply to proceedings involving applications for year's support, which are governed by Chapter 5 of OCGA Title 53.
Under OCGA 9-11-1, the CPA applies to "all courts of record of this state in all actions of a civil nature whether cognizable as cases at law or in equity, with the exceptions stated in Code Section 9-11-81." Cochran v. McCollum, 233 Ga. 104 (210 SE2d 13) (1974). A probate court is a court of record. Id. Thus, the provisions of the CPA apply in probate court, except as provided in OCGA 9-11-81.
OCGA 9-11-81 states that the CPA "shall apply to all special statutory proceedings except to the extent that specific rules of practice or procedure in conflict herewith are expressly prescribed by law. . . ." 1 See Kipp v. Rawson, 193 Ga. App. 532, 534 (1) (388 SE2d 409) (1989). At least certain proceedings in probate court are classifiable as "special statutory proceedings." See Bragg v. Bragg, 225 Ga. 494 (170 SE2d 29) (1969); OCGA 15-9-122. Thus, provisions of the CPA apply in probate court proceedings, unless there are special rules of practice or procedure which are conflicting and which have been expressly prescribed by law. See Howell v. Tidwell, 256 Ga. 647 (352 SE2d 372) (1987); Kipp v. Rawson, supra; Leathers v. Gilland, 141 Ga. App. 681, 683 (1, 2) (234 SE2d 336) (1977).
Rule 13 of the Uniform Rules for the Probate Courts is expressly applicable to default judgments and provides: "The party seeking entry of a default judgment in any action shall certify to the court the date and type of service effected as shown by court records and that there has been no defensive pleading from the party against whom the judgment is sought. This certificate shall be in writing and must be attached to the proposed default judgment when presented to the judge for signature." 254 Ga. 811, 829 (1985). There is no conflict between this rule and OCGA 9-11-55 (a).
Statutory provisions concerning probate courts are contained in Chapter 9 of OCGA Title 15. By its terms, Article 6 of Chapter 9, OCGA 15-9-120 through 15-9-127, applies to jury trials and appeals. Article 6 was amended by 6 of a 1986 Act generally applicable to probate courts in counties having a population of more than 150,000 persons. Ga. L. 1986, pp. 982, 985-987. However, under a 1988 amendment to OCGA 15-9-120 (2), Article 6 applies to probate courts in counties having a population of more than 100,000 persons. OCGA 15-9-122 states: "Unless provided to the contrary by Code Section 9-11-81, the general laws and rules of practice, pleading, procedure, and evidence which are applicable to the superior courts of this state shall be applicable to and govern civil cases in the probate courts." Thus, OCGA 15-9-122 complements OCGA 9-11-81.
The statutory provisions concerning year's support proceedings, which are contained in OCGA 53-5-1 through 53-5-21, do not address default judgments.
Consequently, appellants were entitled to open their default as a matter of right under OCGA 9-11-55 (a) by filing defenses within 15 days of the day of default, upon payment of costs.
Fred W. Minter, for appellee.
Notes
1  It might be argued that the provisions of the CPA relating to the opening of default judgments concern "relief from judgments" and "the effect of judgments," and, therefore, OCGA 9-11-55, insofar as it governs the opening of default judgments, is expressly made applicable to probate court proceedings by OCGA 9-11-81. This argument has not been advanced here.
Schreeder, Wheeler & Flint, David Flint, Timothy C. Batten, for appellants.
DECIDED JANUARY 31, 1991.

[3]

In Re Estate of Loyd, 328 Ga. App. 287, 761 S.E.2d 833 (2014).
Opinion
MILLER, Judge.
*287 In March 2012, Charles Bentley Childs, Sr., as executor, filed a petition to probate Virginia Childs Loyd's last will and testament, as well as her codicil to the will. Loyd's nephew, Jack Childs, filed an untimely caveat, objecting to the petition on the ground of undue influence. Charles moved to dismiss the untimely caveat, and Jack responded with a motion to open default pursuant to OCGA §§ 15–9–47 and 9–11–55(b). The trial court granted Charles's motion to dismiss, and Jack appeals, contending that the trial court erred in dismissing *288 his caveat as untimely, failing to grant him an extension to file a caveat and denying his motion to open default. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
1. Before turning to the merits of Jack's appeal, we must first examine this Court's jurisdiction over this appeal.
It is the duty of this Court on its own motion to inquire into its jurisdiction. The Constitution of the State of Georgia of 1983, Article VI, Section VI, Paragraph III(3), confers upon the Supreme Court of Georgia jurisdiction in all cases involving wills. The Supreme Court of Georgia has interpreted this language to mean only those cases where the validity or construction of a will is the main issue on appeal.
(Citations and punctuation omitted.) In re Estate of Farkas, 325 Ga.App. 477, 478(1), 753 S.E.2d 137 (2013). Here, the issues on appeal concern the timeliness of the caveat and whether Jack was entitled to open default. Since the issues do not concern the validity or construction of the will or codicil, we have jurisdiction over the appeal. Id.
2. Jack first contends that the trial court erred in dismissing his caveat as untimely. We disagree.
OCGA § 15–9–47 provides for automatic default in pending probate court proceedings if an answer, caveat, or other responsive pleading has not been filed within the time required by law or by lawful order of the court. Nevertheless, at any time before final judgment, the probate court, in its discretion, and upon payment of costs may allow the default to open for providential cause preventing the filing of required pleadings or for excusable neglect or where the judge, from all the facts, shall determine that a proper case has been made for the default to open, on terms to be fixed by the court. In order for the default to be thus opened, the showing shall be made under oath, shall set up a meritorious defense, shall offer to plead instanter, and shall announce ready to proceed with the hearing in the matter.
OCGA § 15–9–47. We will not disturb the probate court's ruling on a motion to open default, absent an abuse of discretion. See Simmons v. Harms, 287 Ga. 176, 178(1), 695 S.E.2d 38 (2010) (probate court has discretion with regard to motions to open default under OCGA § 15–9–47).
So viewed, the record shows that Loyd executed her will in 1996, devising her property in equal shares to her sisters, Doris Richwine *289 and Eugenia Pitts, her brothers, Charles and Mobley Childs, and her nephew, Jack Childs. The will also named Jack as Loyd's personal representative. In October 2004, Loyd executed a codicil to her will, in which she appointed Charles as her personal representative to administer the will. In the codicil, Loyd also specifically provided that “it is my wish and desire that my nephew, Jack D. Childs, not inherit under any paragraph or provision of my Will.”
Loyd died on December 24, 2011. Thereafter, on March 30, 2012, Charles filed a petition to probate the will and codicil. On April 3, 2012, the probate court entered an **835 order requiring personal service on two of Virginia's nephews who resided in Georgia—Dr. Samuel Richwine and Joseph Richwine. The order also required service by registered or certified mail on Virginia's sister Eugenia Pitts, and her nephews, Jack Childs and David Richwine, who all lived out of state. That same day, the probate court also entered an order requiring Jack, David and Eugenia to file any objections to the petition within 13 days or within 10 days from the date of receipt as shown on the certified or registered mail return receipt.
A copy of the petition to probate was sent by certified mail to Jack at his residential address in Carlsbad, California. On April 9, 2012, the copy was delivered to Jack's residence and was signed for by his wife, Barbara. Thereafter, on April 23, 2012, Jack filed a caveat and objection to the petition to probate, contending that the 2004 codicil was “fraudulently procured through undue influence.”
On January 17, 2013, Charles filed a motion pursuant to OCGA § 53–11–10 to dismiss Jack's caveat as untimely filed. On February 19, 2013, Jack responded to the motion to dismiss, and filed a separate motion to open default for failing to file a timely caveat.
Jack attached an affidavit to his motion to open default, averring that he was away from his residence on an overseas business trip from April 7 through April 18, 2012. Jack further averred that he had no actual notice of the petition to probate until he examined his mail on April 19, 2012, and he filed his caveat as soon as he was able to on April 23, 2012.
The probate court subsequently granted Charles's motion to dismiss Jack's caveat, finding that the deadline for Jack to file an objection to the petition to probate was April 19, 2012 (ten days from the April 9 date shown on the certified mail return receipt), and Jack did not move to open default during the 15 days in which he could have opened default as a matter of right. The probate court further found that Jack was aware of the timeliness issue because Charles included language in his responses to Jack's discovery requests about not waiving the right to raise and challenge the timeliness of the caveat. Finally, the probate court found that Jack failed to explain *290 why he waited more than ten months before filing his motion to open default, and he failed to show excusable neglect, providential cause or a proper case to open default.
Contrary to Jack's contention, the trial court did not err in dismissing his caveat as untimely.  The nature of the probate court's discretion regarding the timing of responses to petitions to probate ... is statutory. OCGA § 53–11–5 provides, in relevant part: The probate judge may extend the time to respond with respect to any proceedings covered by this chapter as the judge may determine to be proper in the interests of due process and reasonable opportunity for any party or interest to be heard. OCGA § 53–11–10(a) further states: Except as otherwise prescribed by law or directed by the judge pursuant to Code Section 53–11–5 with respect to any particular proceeding, the date on or before which any objection is required to be filed shall be not less than ten days after the date the person is personally served.  (Punctuation omitted.) English v. Ricart, 280 Ga. 215, 216(1), 626 S.E.2d 475 (2006). Here, in accordance with OCGA § 53–11–10(a), the probate court's order required Jack to file his objection to the petition to probate no more than 13 days from the April 3, 2012 date of mailing of the notice or within 10 days from the April 9, 2012 date of receipt of notice as shown on the certified mail return receipt.
Jack admits that he was a resident of the State of California when the notice of the probate court's order was received at his residence by certified mail on April 9, 2012. Jack nevertheless argues that the trial court should have allowed him 30 days to file his caveat because he was temporarily out of the country on a business trip.
Although OCGA § 53–11–10(a) provides for a 30–day objection period for persons who are outside the continental United States, the only reasonable interpretation of that statute is one in which the extended 30– **836 day objection period applies to persons residing outside the continental United States. There is no dispute that Jack was served within the continental United States. Moreover, this Court has previously upheld service on a defendant at his residence by handing a copy to the defendant's wife, even though the defendant was temporarily working outside the country. See Goldberg v. Painter, 128 Ga.App. 214, 196 S.E.2d 157 (1973). Jack cites to no authority, and we have found none, providing that his temporary absence from his California residence entitled him to additional time to file his caveat. Accordingly, the trial court did not err in dismissing Jack's caveat as untimely filed.  *291 3. Jack also contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion to open default. We discern no error.
Pursuant to OCGA § 15–9–47, the probate court had discretion to open default for providential cause or excusable neglect prior to admitting the will and codicil to probate. In reviewing the probate court's decision on a motion to open default, “we must determine whether all the conditions set forth in OCGA § [15–9–47] have been met and, if so, whether the [probate court] abused its discretion based on the facts peculiar to [this] case.” (Citation and punctuation omitted.) Vibratech, Inc. v. Frost, 291 Ga.App. 133, 144(2), 661 S.E.2d 185 (2008).
[T]his Court has recognized a number of factors for determining whether opening default would be appropriate in a particular case, including: whether and how the opposing party will be prejudiced by opening the default; whether the opposing party elected not to raise the default issue until after the time under OCGA § 9–11–55(a) had expired for the defaulting party to open default as a matter of right; and whether the defaulting party acted promptly to open the default[.] ... Further, any additional delay occasioned by a failure to file promptly for opening default upon its discovery can be considered in determining whether [the defaulting party's] neglect was excusable.
(Citation omitted.) Vibratech, supra, 291 Ga.App. at 145(2), 661 S.E.2d 185.
Here, it is undisputed that Jack did not move to open the automatic default as a matter of right within the 15 days provided under OCGA § 9–11–55. Moreover, the record shows that Jack waited more than ten months, until February 19, 2013, to move to open the default, even though he had notice at least as early as November 2012 that Charles had reserved the right to raise and challenge the timeliness of Jack's caveat.1 Finally, as the trial court found in its order denying Jack's motion to open default, Jack failed to provide a reasonable excuse for the delay in filing his motion to open default, particularly after he had notice that Charles might challenge the timeliness of the caveat. Accordingly, Jack cannot show that the probate court abused its discretion in denying his motion to open default. See Vibratech, supra, 291 Ga.App. at 146(2), 661 S.E.2d 185.
*292 4. In light of our holding in Divisions 2 and 3 above, we need not address Jack's additional enumeration of error.
Judgment affirmed.
DOYLE, P.J., and DILLARD, J., concur.
All Citations
328 Ga.App. 287, 761 S.E.2d 833
Footnotes
1.       Jack argues that Charles buried the statement regarding the reservation of his right to raise and challenge the timeliness of the caveat in prefatory language to his discovery responses. Our review of these discovery responses, however, shows that the reservation of rights was clearly and expressly set out on the first page of each responsive pleading.

END

Monday, May 30, 2016

How to File a Caveat (Objection) to a Last Will and Testament

How to File a Caveat (Objection) to a Last Will and Testament.

You spent the last four (4) years of your life taking care of your dear father.  He passed away and the funeral is over.  Now you are putting your life in order without your dad.  Your mom passed away some years ago and everything in your mom's estate passed to your father.  

Your father was a wonderful man.  He always told you everything in his estate would be yours when he passed away.  

Well, not so fast. 

You just got served with a Last Will and Testament [1] that leaves everything to your father's mistress.   











 [2]


You thought the mistress was history and he had grown out of that phase of life.  Well like all estate secrets, we guess not.

What can you do?

You can file a formal caveat or objection to the Last Will and Testament offered by the mistress for Probate. 

So how do you do it?   The caveat is a pleading that is filed in opposition and response to a Petition to Probate in Solemn Form. [3]

You can write your own, or copy portions from a Form we have prepared.  [4]

In Georgia, you must move with speed.  You only have ten (10) days to file a caveat (an objection). [5]  However, there are certain methods by which you can extend the ten (10) days to caveat, but they are beyond the scope of this blog post.

The types of objections that you can assert in your caveat (other than dad must have been out of his mind leaving it to the mistress) are:

& & &

The Will was not attested correctly according to law; that is, one of the required witnesses is missing or that witness was not qualified to witness the will in question;
The formalities of the Will were not followed;
The document propounded is not a Last Will and Testament (is may be missing necessary language);
One or more of the witnesses was incompetent at the time the Will was witnessed (this may also disqualify the self-proving affidavit, if one is presented for Probate);
The Testator was unduly influenced to make the Will propounded;
The Testator was unduly influenced to insert certain bequest and/or legacies in the Will, which were not the intent of the Testator;
The Testator was incompetent to make a Will at the time it was attested;
The Testator was insane or incompetent at the time he or she signed it;
The Testator was so weak and infirm that the Testator could not have known what was in the Will at the time he or she signed it;
The Testator was an accomplished physician/or CEO/or skilled musician (or whatever) and the shaky and illegible signature shows that the Testator did not know what he or she was signing at the time it was attested;
The will was revoked by tearing or burning or was revoked by a will that was executed AFTER the date of the propounded Will and thus the propounded Will is not the final Last Will and Testament of the Testator.

& & &

Happy Caveating.

If we can help you with the assembly of a Caveat or other probate document, please give us a call.

Hugh C. Wood, Esq.
Wood & Meredith, LLP
3756 LaVista Road
Suite 250
Atlanta (Tucker), GA 30084

hwood@woodandmeredith.com
www.hughwood.blogspot.com
Phone: 404-633-4100
Cell: 678-516-8289
Fax: 404-633-0068



&&&&&



[1]

You were served with a Petition to Probate in Solemn Form.  That Form can be found at the Probate Judges' Official site or here:

https://www.scribd.com/doc/314288633/Petition-to-Probate-Will-in-Solemn-Form-Georgia-Probate-Form-5

[2]

Story and photo from British ITV.
Jeremy Kyle exploded with rage at three women after they discovered on TV that they were half-sisters.  Hazel, 18, found out Danielle and Katie's late father Ronald was also her dad for the first time in 18 years when Jeremy read out DNA results on The Jeremy Kyle Show.
After hearing that Hazel was definitely her half-sister, Danielle reacted with fury and shouted at her half-sibling: "Jump off a cliff."  Watch Jeremy Kyle explode with rage and give chase backstage as guests run off: ''It's all BS''  4 Aug 2015 By James Leyfield.

[3]



Filing a Caveat to a Will

Hinkel, Daniel F. , Ga. Probate & Administration § 4:1 (4th ed.)(2015)
Georgia Probate and Administration with Forms
Chapter 4. Caveat to Probate
§ 4:1. Definition
A caveat is a written objection to the probate of a will filed with the probate court citing the grounds for objection.1 The only issue is devisavit vel non (will or no will) — whether the propounded paper is or is not the last will and testament of the deceased. There are only three questions for consideration: (1) Was the document properly executed? (2) Did the testator have mental capacity to execute the document? (3) Was there undue influence, fraud, or mistake in the execution of the document? It is not a ground for caveat to the probate of a will that a devise to a particular person may be void or uncertain.2
To have standing to caveat a will, a person must have a sufficient interest in the estate so that he or she will be injured by the probate of the will or will benefit if the will is not being probated.3 For example, beneficiaries in a first will, though not heirs-at-law, would have standing to caveat a later will.
1
O.C.G.A. § 15-9-88.
It is not necessary that an executor be appointed prior to the court's consideration of the merits of a caveat. See In re Estate of Farquharson, 244 Ga. App. 632, 535 S.E.2d 774 (2000). Evidence showed that medical guardianship form was not intended as a will. Candies v. Hulsey, 277 Ga. 630, 593 S.E.2d 353 (2004). See O.C.G.A. § 53-4-68 regarding in terrorem clauses that disinherit a will contestant. Cox v. Fowler, 279 Ga. 501, 614 S.E.2d 59 (2005). A caveat may be amended up to the time evidence is taken at trial where there is no pre-trial order. Henderson v. Henderson, 281 Ga. 553, 640 S.E.2d 254 (2007).
A caveator of a will who signed a letter of assent consenting to the probate of the will in solemn form is precluded from asserting that the will was invalid due to the testatrix's mental capacity. In re Estate of Brice, 288 Ga. App. 449, 654 S.E.2d 420 (2007).
It was proper for a probate court to dismiss a will caveat without a hearing. The pleadings affirmatively established that the caveat was fatally defective. In re Estate of Brice, 288 Ga. App. 449, 654 S.E.2d 420 (2007).
The Court of Appeals affirmed a probate court's holding the caveators' attorney's fees are to be paid by the estate when it was alleged the estate benefited from his services. In re Estate of Boss, 293 Ga. App. 769, 668 S.E.2d 283 (2008). The court in its decision, does not actually rule the caveators' attorney's fees should be paid from the estate but instead allowed the probate order to stand because the appellant failed to preserve the argument in a properly filed cross-appeal.
An estate cannot recover attorney's fees, incurred in a prior appeal of litigation regarding a will contest, in a second action against the executor for malfeasance. Only attorney fees and expenses incurred in prosecuting the second action could be recovered. In re Estate of Tapley, 312 Ga. App. 234, 718 S.E.2d 92 (2011).
Caveators of a will are not collaterally estopped to assert incapacity and undue influence because the Court of Appeals had already decided such issues adversely to them in an action involving a guardianship of the testator (Copelan I). Establishing a guardianship requires clear and convincing proof. The burden in the case presently brought by the caveators to prove lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence is only a preponderance of the evidence, a less demanding burden than the one considered by the Court of Appeals in Copelan I. The failure to prove something by a higher standard will not work as collateral estoppel in a subsequent case in which the same thing need only be proven by a lower standard. Copelan v. Copelan, 294 Ga. 840, 755 S.E.2d 739 (2014).
O.C.G.A. § 53-11-10(a) provides for a 30-day objection period to file a caveat for persons who are outside the continental United States. The only reasonable interpretation of this statute is one in which the extended 30-day objection period applies to persons residing outside the continental United States, not a person who resides within the continental United States but was traveling out of the country on business at the time service was made on him at his residence by handing a copy of the probate court's order to the defendant's wife. In re Estate of Loyd, 328 Ga. App. 287, 761 S.E.2d 833 (2014).
2
In re Estate of Corbitt, 265 Ga. 110, 454 S.E.2d 129 (1995); Reid v. Wilson, 208 Ga. 235, 65 S.E.2d 913 (1951); Shaw v. Fehn, 196 Ga. 661, 27 S.E.2d 406 (1943). See also Garrett v. Morton, 265 Ga. 394, 458 S.E.2d 618 (1995).
3
Lavender v. Wilkins, 237 Ga. 510, 512, 228 S.E.2d 888, 92 A.L.R.3d 1236 (1976).
Appellant was estopped from asserting that a will was not properly witnessed inasmuch as he acknowledged service and consented to the immediate probate of the will with full knowledge of its contents and the circumstances surrounding its execution. Clark v. Clark, 265 Ga. 434, 457 S.E.2d 564 (1995). See also Morgan v. Johns, 276 Ga. App. 366, 623 S.E.2d 219 (2005), judgment rev'd, 281 Ga. 51, 635 S.E.2d 753 (2006) and judgment vacated, 282 Ga. App. 724, 639 S.E.2d 419 (2006); Morgan v. Johns, 282 Ga. App. 724, 639 S.E.2d 419 (2006); In re Estate of Brice, 288 Ga. App. 449, 654 S.E.2d 420 (2007); Smith v. Wyatt, 282 Ga. 902, 655 S.E.2d 581 (2008).
An executor of a will who is also the trustee of a testamentary trust created under the will has standing in his capacity as trustee of the testamentary marital trust to file a caveat to a codicil of the will which alters the allocation of property without increasing the share devised to the trust. Melican v. Parker, 283 Ga. 253, 657 S.E.2d 234 (2008).
A caveator who benefited by the probate of a will and was not harmed by its probate lacks standing to allege the decedent lacked testamentary capacity and that the will was a product of undue influence. Norman v. Gober, 288 Ga. 754, 707 S.E.2d 98 (2011).
A caveat contesting the validity of a will brought by a person who lacked standing is an initiation of a legal proceeding that may trigger the in terrorem clause in the will and might, under some circumstances, be attributed to a party other than the caveator. Norman v. Gober, 292 Ga. 351, 737 S.E.2d 309 (2013).
A grantee of a deed from the testator, which might have been cancelled in the event the testator's will was upheld as valid, has sufficient interest in the proceeding to have standing to caveat the probate of the will. Odom v. Hughes, 293 Ga. 447, 748 S.E.2d 839 (2013).
 

[4]

Caveat Form

https://www.scribd.com/doc/314290989/Caveat-to-a-Last-Will-and-Testament-Georgia

[5]

In re Estate of Loyd, 328 Ga.App. 287, 761 S.E.2d 833, 835 (2014).


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Georgia :: Sheriff's Sale Price Found to be FMV for Ad Valorem County Price - overruling County BOE

May 18, 2016

In a physical precedent only case [1] , Georgia Court of Appeals Rule 33, the Court of Appeals allowed the reduction in value from $137,700.00 to $25,000.00.  That is almost an 82% reduction in value and companion reduction in the taxes due the County on the property.   The Court of Appeals cut through OCGA § 48-5-2 [2] and found that a Sheriff's Sale that only returned $25,000.00 on the courthouse steps in cash constitued an "arm's length, bona fide" [sale] transaction. 

Our firm has never evaluated such a sale as Fair Market Value (FMV) price and this opinion provides a new weapon against counties in the ongoing (never ending actually) [3] battle against rising real estate property taxes.

Hugh Wood, Esq.
Wood & Meredith, LLP
3756 LaVista Road
Suite 250
Atlanta (Tucker), GA 30084
www.woodandmeredith.com
hwood@woodandmeredith.com
www.hughwood.blogspot.com
Phone: 404-633-4100
Cell: 404-449-9041
Fax: 404-633-0068

[1]

783 S.E.2d 453
Court of Appeals of Georgia.
PARK SOLUTIONS, LLC
v.
DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF TAX ASSESSORS.
No. A15A2136.
March 23, 2016.Reconsideration Denied April 14, 2016.
Synopsis
Background: Judicial foreclosure sale purchaser appealed decision of county board of equalization (BOE) that upheld assessor's valuation of real property. The Superior Court, DeKalb County affirmed. Purchaser appealed.
Holding: The Court of Appeals, McFadden, J., held that judicial foreclosure sale qualified as an “arm's length, bona fide sale” for purposes of statute providing one-year freeze of ad valorem tax value of property.
Reversed.
Dillard, J., concurred in judgment only and filed statement.

Attorneys and Law Firms
*453 C. Terry Blanton, for Appellant.
Jermaine Anthony Walker, Decatur, Laura Karen Johnson, Mark A. Thompson, Shaheem Malik Williams, for Appellee.
Opinion
McFADDEN, Judge.
The issue in this appeal is whether a sheriff's sale of certain real property was an “arm's length, bona fide” sale under OCGA § 48–5–2(3) so that the sale price constituted the property's maximum allowable fair market value for the next taxable year. Because *454 we find that the sheriff's sale was such an arm's length, bona fide sale, the superior court's ruling to the contrary was erroneous and must be reversed.
On June 4, 2013, Park Solutions, LLC bought a tract of land for $25,000 at a sheriff's sale in DeKalb County. The sheriff's deed provided that Mollye Devault and Robert Christopher Taylor were the owners of the property; that the owners made the deed by and through the DeKalb County sheriff, acting in his official capacity; that the sheriff conducted the sale to satisfy a default judgment of $37,796 obtained by DRST Holdings LTD; that the sale was held “at the usual place for conducting [s]heriff's sales in DeKalb [C]ounty before the [c]ourthouse door;” and that Park Solutions was the highest bidder at the “public outcry.”
After the sale, the county appraised the value of the property as $146,900 for the 2014 tax year, and Park Solutions appealed that valuation to the DeKalb County Board of Tax Assessors. The board of tax assessors issued a decision finding that the fair market value of the property was $137,700. Park Solutions appealed that decision to the DeKalb County Board of Equalization, which upheld the county tax assessor's fair market value finding of the property as $137,700. Park Solutions then appealed to the superior court, asserting that pursuant to OCGA § 48–5–2(3), the maximum allowable fair market value of the property for the 2014 tax year was the $25,000 price that it had paid at the sheriff's sale. The trial court rejected the argument, finding that the sheriff's sale was not an arm's length, bona fide sale under that statute because such “judicial foreclosure sales are not mentioned in the statute and also the parties to the sale are related and affiliated.” The trial court concluded that the county had accurately determined the fair market value of the property as of January 1, 2014, to be $137,700. Park Solutions appeals from the superior court's final order.
1. Sheriff's sale.
1
Park Solutions asserts that the trial court erred in finding that the sheriff's sale in this case was not governed by OCGA § 48–5–2(3) because such judicial foreclosure sales are not mentioned in the statute. We agree with the assertion.
OCGA § 48–5–2(3), which is part of the code governing ad valorem taxation of property, provides, in pertinent part:

    “Fair market value of property” means the amount a knowledgeable buyer would pay for the property and a willing seller would accept for the property at an arm's length, bona fide sale.... Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary, the transaction amount of the most recent arm's length, bona fide sale in any year shall be the maximum allowable fair market value for the next taxable year.

The term “arm's length, bona fide” sale as used in this code section is defined as “mean[ing] a transaction which has occurred in good faith without fraud or deceit carried out by unrelated or unaffiliated parties, as by a willing buyer and a willing seller, each acting in his or her own self-interest, including but not limited to a distress sale, short sale, bank sale, or sale at public auction.” OCGA § 48–5–2(.1) (emphasis supplied).
Thus, OCGA § 48–5–2(3) “provides the method for assessing [fair market] value as of [January 1 of the applicable tax year] ..., with its focus on the actual market-determined value of property on the actual date the property was acquired, rather than its value as much as a year later[.]” Columbus Bd. of Tax Assessors v. Yeoman, 293 Ga. 107, 109(2), 744 S.E.2d 18 (2013). “This amounts to a freeze on the ad valorem tax value of property for one year. [Cit.]” Ballard v. Newton County Bd. of Tax Assessors, 332 Ga.App. 521, 522, 773 S.E.2d 780 (2015).
In finding that this freeze on the value of the property did not apply to the sheriff's sale in this case, the trial court relied on OCGA § 48–5–1, which provides that “[t]he intent and purpose of the tax laws of this state are to have all property and subjects of taxation returned at the value which would be realized from the cash sale, but not the forced sale, of the property and subjects as such property and subjects are usually sold except as otherwise provided in this chapter.” (Emphasis supplied.) The trial court *455 then reasoned that foreclosure sales are considered to be forced sales and therefore “[r]eading [OCGA] § 48–5–2(.1) to include judicial foreclosure sales would be contrary to the expressed intent of Title 48 to exclude values realized as a result of the forced sale of a property.”
2
However, the trial court overlooked the plain language in OCGA § 48–5–1 providing that it applies “except as otherwise provided in this chapter.” Likewise, the controlling portion of OCGA § 48–5–2(3) itself expressly provides that it applies “[n]otwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary[.]” We must construe these statutes together and harmonize them to ascertain the legislative intent. Aimwell, Inc. v. McLendon Enterprises, 318 Ga.App. 394, 397(1), 734 S.E.2d 84 (2012). In so doing, even if we assume, without deciding, that there is some inconsistency between them, it is apparent from the plain language of both code sections that, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, the legislative intent was to allow the specific provision of a one-year freeze on ad valorem tax value set forth in OCGA § 48–5–2(3) to control over the general expression of purpose set forth in OCGA § 48–5–1. See Hubert Properties, LLP v. Cobb County, 318 Ga.App. 321, 323(1), 733 S.E.2d 373 (2012) (specific statute will prevail over a general statute to resolve any inconsistency between them).
Moreover, the trial court also erred in concluding that the absence of the term “foreclosure sale” from OCGA § 48–5–2(.1) indicates that such sales were excluded by the legislature from that code section's definition of an arm's length, bona fide sale. As recited above, OCGA § 48–5–2(.1) defines an arm's length, bona fide sale as “including but not limited to a distress sale, short sale, bank sale, or sale at public auction.” (Emphasis supplied.) Contrary to the trial court's interpretation of this code section, the legislature's use of the phrase “including but not limited to” is not restrictive or exclusive, and instead “reflects broad language of illustration or enlargement. [Cit.]” Hendry v. Hendry, 292 Ga. 1, 2(1), n. 2, 734 S.E.2d 46 (2012).
Indeed, two of the examples of the types of sales expressly included in the definition of an arm's length, bona fide sale set forth in OCGA § 48–5–2(.1)—distress sales and public auctions—clearly include the foreclosure sale executed by the sheriff in this case. “The statute does not define the ... terms [‘distress sale’ or ‘public auction,’] and we therefore look to their plain and ordinary meanings as defined by dictionaries.” Skelhorn v. State, 332 Ga.App. 782, 787(3)(b), 773 S.E.2d 45 (2015) (citation and punctuation omitted). Black's Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014), defines the term “distress sale” as “[a] form of liquidation in which the seller receives less for the goods than what would be received under normal sales conditions,” and as a “foreclosure ... sale.” Under this ordinary meaning of the phrase, the sheriff's foreclosure sale in this case was a distress sale as contemplated by the statute.
Furthermore, Black's Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014) defines the word “auction” as being “[a] public sale of property to the highest bidder,” and it defines the term “public sale” as meaning “[a] sale made after public notice, as in an auction or sheriff's sale.” Consistent with this dictionary definition, another statute in our official code provides that “the term ‘public sale’ means any sale, the notice of which must by law in any manner be given to the public.” OCGA § 9–13–160(a). Thus, under these definitions, the sheriff's sale in this case was a public auction at which Park Solutions was the high bidder.
“OCGA § 48–5–2(.1) expressly defines an arm's length, bona fide sale to include those types of transactions where the seller might suffer a financial loss[,] including distress sales ... or sales at public auction[ ].” CPF Investments v. Fulton County Bd. of Assessors, 330 Ga.App. 744, 749, 769 S.E.2d 159 (2015) (punctuation omitted). Here, because the sheriff's sale of the subject property was a distress sale and public auction, it was an arm's length, bona fide sale under the plain terms of OCGA § 48–5–2(.1). Consequently, the board of tax assessors could not “assess the property at a higher value in the year following the sale, regardless of whether the [b]oard believe[d] the sale price reflect[ed] the actual fair market value of the property.” CPF Investments, supra at 747 *456 , n. 4, 769 S.E.2d 159. The trial court's findings to the contrary with regard to the sheriff's sale in this case were erroneous and must be reversed. Compare Ballard, supra at 525, 773 S.E.2d 780 (holding that a tax sale purchaser receives only a defeasible fee interest and since fair market value “is not defined as the amount a buyer would pay to purchase, and a willing seller accept, for a defeasible interest in property, a tax sale does not qualify as an arm's length, bona fide sale such that the one-year freeze of OCGA § 48–5–2(3) would apply.”) (emphasis in original).
2. Parties to the sale.
The trial court also found that the sheriff's sale was not an arm's length transaction under OCGA § 48–5–2(.1) because the parties to the 2013 sheriff's sale were DRST and Park Solutions and those parties were related in that the president of DRST and the manager of Park Solutions were, respectively, father and son. However, regardless of the relationship between the father and son and the respective corporate entities, the factual premise of the trial court's ruling is flawed because DRST was not a party to the sale.
As the sheriff's deed plainly shows, the parties to the sale were the sheriff as the grantor, acting in his official capacity on behalf of the property owners, and Park Solutions as the grantee after being the highest bidder for the property at the public auction. See Associates Financial Svcs. Co. v. Johnson, 128 Ga.App. 712, 713, 197 S.E.2d 764 (1973) (sheriffs who are legally authorized to make sales at a public outcry represent the sellers of the property). Thus, contrary to the trial court's finding, DRST simply was not a party to the sheriff's sale, which instead was an arm's length sale between the unrelated and unaffiliated parties of the grantor sheriff and the grantee Park Solutions. Accordingly, the trial court's finding that the transaction was not an arm's length sale was erroneous. “In light of the foregoing [errors], the [final] order of the trial court ... is reversed.” CPF Investments, supra at 750, 769 S.E.2d 159.
Judgment reversed.
ELLINGTON, P.J., concurs and DILLARD, J., concurs in the judgment only.
DILLARD, Judge, concurring in judgment only.
I concur in judgment only because I do not agree with all that is said in the majority opinion. As a result, the majority's opinion decides only the issues presented in the case sub judice and may not be cited as binding precedent. See Court of Appeals Rule 33(a).
All Citations
783 S.E.2d 453

[2]

Effective: July 1, 2014
Ga. Code Ann., § 48-5-2
OCGA § 48-5-2. Definitions
Currentness
As used in this chapter, the term:
(.1) “Arm's length, bona fide sale” means a transaction which has occurred in good faith without fraud or deceit carried out by unrelated or unaffiliated parties, as by a willing buyer and a willing seller, each acting in his or her own self-interest, including but not limited to a distress sale, short sale, bank sale, or sale at public auction.
(1) “Current use value” of bona fide conservation use property means the amount a knowledgeable buyer would pay for the property with the intention of continuing the property in its existing use and in an arm's length, bona fide sale and shall be determined in accordance with the specifications and criteria provided for in subsection (b) of Code Section 48-5-269.
(2) “Current use value” of bona fide residential transitional property means the amount a knowledgeable buyer would pay for the property with the intention of continuing the property in its existing use and in an arm's length, bona fide sale. The tax assessor shall consider the following criteria, as applicable, in determining the current use value of bona fide residential transitional property:
(A) The current use of such property;
(B) Annual productivity; and
(C) Sales data of comparable real property with and for the same existing use.
(3) “Fair market value of property” means the amount a knowledgeable buyer would pay for the property and a willing seller would accept for the property at an arm's length, bona fide sale. The income approach, if data is available, shall be considered in determining the fair market value of income-producing property. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary, the transaction amount of the most recent arm's length, bona fide sale in any year shall be the maximum allowable fair market value for the next taxable year. With respect to the valuation of equipment, machinery, and fixtures when no ready market exists for the sale of the equipment, machinery, and fixtures, fair market value may be determined by resorting to any reasonable, relevant, and useful information available, including, but not limited to, the original cost of the property, any depreciation or obsolescence, and any increase in value by reason of inflation. Each tax assessor shall have access to any public records of the taxpayer for the purpose of discovering such information.
(A) In determining the fair market value of a going business where its continued operation is reasonably anticipated, the tax assessor may value the equipment, machinery, and fixtures which are the property of the business as a whole where appropriate to reflect the accurate fair market value.
(B) The tax assessor shall apply the following criteria in determining the fair market value of real property:
(i) Existing zoning of property;
(ii) Existing use of property, including any restrictions or limitations on the use of property resulting from state or federal law or rules or regulations adopted pursuant to the authority of state or federal law;
(iii) Existing covenants or restrictions in deed dedicating the property to a particular use;
(iv) Bank sales, other financial institution owned sales, or distressed sales, or any combination thereof, of comparable real property;
(v) Decreased value of the property based on limitations and restrictions resulting from the property being in a conservation easement;
(vi) Rent limitations, operational requirements, and any other restrictions imposed upon the property in connection with the property being eligible for any income tax credits described in subparagraph (B.1) of this paragraph or receiving any other state or federal subsidies provided with respect to the use of the property as residential rental property; provided, however, that such properties described in subparagraph (B.1) of this paragraph shall not be considered comparable real property for assessment or appeal of assessment of other properties; and
(vii) Any other existing factors provided by law or by rule and regulation of the commissioner deemed pertinent in arriving at fair market value.
(B.1) The tax assessor shall not consider any income tax credits with respect to real property which are claimed and granted pursuant to either Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or Chapter 7 of this title in determining the fair market value of real property.
(B.2) In determining the fair market value of real property, the tax assessor shall not include the value of any intangible assets used by a business, wherever located, including patents, trademarks, trade names, customer agreements, and merchandising agreements.
(C) Fair market value of “historic property” as such term is defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 48-5-7.2 means:
(i) For the first eight years in which the property is classified as “rehabilitated historic property,” the value equal to the greater of the acquisition cost of the property or the appraised fair market value of the property as recorded in the county tax digest at the time preliminary certification on such property was received by the county board of tax assessors pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 48-5-7.2;
(ii) For the ninth year in which the property is classified as “rehabilitated historic property,” the value of the property as determined by division (i) of this subparagraph plus one-half of the difference between such value and the current fair market value exclusive of the provisions of this subparagraph; and
(iii) For the tenth and following years, the fair market value of such property as determined by the provisions of this paragraph, excluding the provisions of this subparagraph.
(D) Fair market value of “landmark historic property” as such term is defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 48-5-7.3 means:
(i) For the first eight years in which the property is classified as “landmark historic property,” the value equal to the greater of the acquisition cost of the property or the appraised fair market value of the property as recorded in the county tax digest at the time certification on such property was received by the county board of tax assessors pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 48-5-7.3;
(ii) For the ninth year in which the property is classified as “landmark historic property,” the value of the property as determined by division (i) of this subparagraph plus one-half of the difference between such value and the current fair market value exclusive of the provisions of this subparagraph; and
(iii) For the tenth and following years, the fair market value of such property as determined by the provisions of this paragraph, excluding the provisions of this subparagraph.
(E) Timber shall be valued at its fair market value at the time of its harvest or sale in the manner specified in Code Section 48-5-7.5.
(F) Fair market value of “brownfield property” as such term is defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 48-5-7.6 means:
(i) Unless sooner disqualified pursuant to subsection (e) of Code Section 48-5-7.6, for the first ten years in which the property is classified as “brownfield property,” or as this period of preferential assessment may be extended pursuant to subsection (o) of Code Section 48-5-7. 6, the value equal to the lesser of the acquisition cost of the property or the appraised fair market value of the property as recorded in the county tax digest at the time application was made to the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources for participation under Article 9 of Chapter 8 of Title 12, the “Georgia Hazardous Site Reuse and Redevelopment Act,” as amended; and
(ii) Unless sooner disqualified pursuant to subsection (e) of Code Section 48-5-7.6, for the eleventh and following years, or at the end of any extension of this period of preferential assessment pursuant to subsection (o) of Code Section 48-5-7.6, the fair market value of such property as determined by the provisions of this paragraph, excluding the provisions of this subparagraph.
(4) “Foreign merchandise in transit” means personal property of any description which has been or will be moved by waterborne commerce through any port located in this state and:
(A) Which has entered the export stream, although temporarily stored or warehoused in the county where the port of export is located; or
(B) Which was shipped from a point of origin located outside the customs territory of the United States and on which United States customs duties are paid at or through any customs district or port located in this state, although stored or warehoused in the county where the port of entry is located while in transit to a final destination.
(5) “Forest land conservation value” of forest land conservation use property means the amount determined in accordance with the specifications and criteria provided for in Code Section 48-5-271 and Article VII, Section I, Paragraph III(f) of the Constitution.
(6) “Forest land fair market value” means the 2008 fair market value of the forest land; provided, however, that when the 2008 fair market value of the forest land has been appealed by a property owner and the ultimate fair market value of the forest land is changed in the appeal process by either the board of assessors, the board of equalization, a hearing officer, an arbitrator, or a superior court judge, then the final fair market value of the forest land shall replace the 2008 fair market value of the forest land. This final fair market value of the forest land shall be used in the calculation of local assistance grants. If local assistance grants have been granted to either a county, a county board of education, or a municipality based on the 2008 fair market value of forest land and subsequently the fair market value of such forest land is reduced on an appeal, then the county or the municipality shall reimburse the state, within 12 months unless otherwise agreed to by the parties, the difference between local assistance grants paid to the county or municipality and the amount which would have been due based on the final fair market value of the forest land. Such 2008 valuation may increase from one taxable year to the next by a rate equal to the percentage change in the price index for gross output of state and local government from the prior year to the current year as defined by the National Income and Product Accounts and determined by the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis and indicated by the Price Index for Government Consumption Expenditures and General Government Gross Output (Table 3.10.4).

[3]

One of the first known taxes:  Egyptian Pharaohs levied a tax on household cooking oil.  Taxes have been an ongoing event since then.

END


Egyptian Pharaohs