Publication Date


Document Type



Local government is an active participant in most communities. It picks up trash weekly, keeps tap water clean, and keeps citizens safe. Local government is the cog that keeps communities running smoothly, and as such, is afforded certain protections. One of those protections is the protection from lawsuits brought by citizens. This is known as the doctrine of sovereign immunity. While local government reaches out into the community to keep citizens comfortable and safe, sovereign immunity keeps citizens from reaching in and exposing the government to liability. At times, however, these protections can seem unjust. In 2002, the Georgia General Assembly made an attempt to address such concerns by amending an existing statute to promote the waiver of sovereign immunity. The decision in Columbus Consolidated Government v. Woody addresses a matter of first impression concerning this statute and exposes the likely unintended consequences of the 2002 amendment, which appears to require further attention from the General Assembly.