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Lawskills.com Georgia Caselaw
WALKER v. CAMP et al.
46145.
Action for rent. Forsyth Superior Court. Before Judge Pope.
QUILLIAN, Judge.
Under the law prior to July 1, 1970, where the issue in a dispossessory proceeding was determined adversely to the tenant, the landlord was entitled to double the rent reserved or stipulated unless the tenant was one at will or sufferance, in which event the landlord was entitled to recover double what the rent of the premises is shown to be worth.
This is the second appearance of the instant case before this court. This appeal is concerned with proceedings subsequent to entry of the judgment in the trial court in conformity with the decision entered in Walker v. Camp, 121 Ga. App. 765 (175 SE2d 53). Briefly stated, the plaintiff (appellant here) brought dispossessory proceedings against the defendants Camp and Bagwell (appellees here). At the conclusion of the evidence submitted on the trial of the case, plaintiff moved for directed verdict and for grounds thereof set out: that the evidence showed tenancy, that is, the relation of landlord and tenant between plaintiff and defendant Camp; that the demand had been made for possession of the property and that the defendant Camp held the property over from July 22, 1968, to date of the trial; that the evidence showed the reasonable rental value of the property to be $125 per month. This motion was overruled by the trial judge and the jury subsequently returned a verdict for the defendants. On appeal this court reversed and stated in Division 3 of the opinion that defendants failed to present any issuable defense to the dispossessory action. Accordingly, the court held: "For the reasons stated in the third division of this opinion it was error to deny the plaintiff's motion for a directed verdict." Walker v. Camp, 121 Ga. App. 765 (5), supra.
This decision and the remittitur of record were filed in the trial court on June 11, 1970. On June 22, 1970, the trial judge entered up a judgment on behalf of plaintiff and against the defendants. Subsequently, the trial judge deleted the following portion of the judgment which we quote: "Judgment is hereby rendered on the bond in this cause and the plaintiff shall have and recover of James H. Camp and Leland H. Bagwell the principal sum of $5,625, representing double rent from July 22, 1968, through the date of said remittitur at the rate of $125 per month, together with costs." Whereupon the plaintiff filed what he denominated a motion for an order "expunging alien record" which sought to reinstate that portion of the judgment which had been deleted by the trial judge. The motion was overruled and the plaintiff appeals from that order.
The judgment in this case was entered before the effective date of the Act of 1970 (Ga. L. 1970, p. 968) which amended the law with regard to dispossessory proceedings. Hence, we apply the law as it existed prior to July 1, 1970. See Gaultney v. Adamson, 75 Ga. App. 406, 409 (43 SE2d 778). The decision of the Court of Appeals on the former appearance of this case did not expressly direct that a judgment for double rent be entered up in favor of the plaintiff. Nevertheless, the effect of the decision reversing the judgment, denying the plaintiff's motion for directed verdict and directing that a judgment be entered up for the plaintiff was to find for the plaintiff as to all issues including demand and rental value. The judgment in no way amounted to a partial or limited grant of a directed verdict as to a single issue. Where the issue in a dispossessory proceeding was determined adversely to the tenant, the landlord was entitled to double the rent reserved or stipulated unless the tenant was one at will or sufferance, in which event the landlord was entitled to recover double what the rent of the premises is shown to be worth. Beveridge v. Simmerville, 26 Ga. App. 373 (1) (106 SE 212); Stanley v. Stembridge, 140 Ga. 750 (5) (79 SE 842). Under the previous decision, plaintiff was entitled to a judgment for double rent and the trial judge erred in striking that portion of the judgment which so provided.
Judgment reversed. Jordan, P. J., and Evans, J., concur.
Bert N. Garstin, for appellees.
Paul A. Martin, for appellant.
SUBMITTED APRIL 7, 1971 -- DECIDED JUNE 21, 1971.
Friday May 22 16:20 EDT


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