Today, the Supreme Court of Georgia handed a resounding victory to Georgia weapons carry license applicants. In Roberts v. Cuthpert, the Court ruled that sovereign immunity and constitutional principles do not bar an award of attorney’s fees and costs to an applicant that has to sue a probate judge who wrongly denies an application. The Court also ruled that processing license applications is not a “judicial function,” so judicial immunity does not apply.
For many aggrieved applicants, the cost to litigate against a probate judge and the vast resources of the government defending the judge make litigation prohibitive. The Supreme Court’s decision upholds the public policy set by the legislature that a successful applicant is entitled to an award of attorney’s fees. This decision makes it more likely that private attorneys will take worthwhile cases.