Step Training

NW GA Public Health
STEP TRAINING
February 24, 2011


By
Peter R. Olson, Esq.
Jenkins, Olson & Bowen, P.C.
770/387-1373

I.          Legal Framework of Public Health

Department of Community Health and 159 county Boards of Health created by the Georgia Code.  (O.C.G.A. means “Official Code of Georgia, Annotated”).  They are creatures of General Assembly and can be modified by them at will (as witnessed by recent reorganization, and by HB 214, to establish a Department of Public Health).

II.        Department of Community Health

O.C.G.A. § 31-2-1. Legislative intent
Given the growing concern and complexities of health issues in this state, it is the intent of the General Assembly to create a Department of Community Health dedicated to health issues. The Department of Community Health shall safeguard and promote the health of the people of this state and is empowered to employ all legal means appropriate to that end. Illustrating, without limiting, the foregoing grant of authority, the department is empowered to:

(1) Serve as the lead planning agency for all health issues in the state to remedy the current situation wherein the responsibility for health care policy, purchasing, planning, and regulation is spread among many different agencies;

(2) Permit the state to maximize its purchasing power and to administer its operations in a manner so as to receive the maximum amount of federal financial participation available in expenditures of the department;

(3) Minimize duplication and maximize administrative efficiency in the state's health care systems by removing overlapping functions and streamlining uncoordinated programs;

(4) Allow the state to develop a better health care infrastructure that is more responsive to the consumers it serves while improving access to and coverage for health care;

(5) Focus more attention and departmental procedures on the issue of wellness, including diet, exercise, and personal responsibility;

[Items below were added in 2009]

(6) Provide epidemiological investigations and laboratory facilities and services in the detection and control of disease, disorders, and disabilities and to provide research, conduct investigations, and disseminate information concerning reduction in the incidence and proper control of disease, disorders, and disabilities;

(7) Forestall and correct physical, chemical, and biological conditions that, if left to run their course, could be injurious to health;

(8) Regulate and require the use of sanitary facilities at construction sites and places of public assembly and to regulate persons, firms, and corporations engaged in the rental and service of portable chemical toilets;

(9) Isolate and treat persons afflicted with a communicable disease who are either unable or unwilling to observe the department's rules and regulations for the suppression of such disease and to establish, to that end, complete or modified quarantine, surveillance, or isolation of persons and animals exposed to a disease communicable to man;

(10) Procure and distribute drugs and biologicals and purchase services from clinics, laboratories, hospitals, and other health facilities and, when authorized by law, to acquire and operate such facilities;

(11) Cooperate with agencies and departments of the federal government and of the state by supplying consultant services in medical and hospital programs and in the health aspects of civil defense, emergency preparedness, and emergency response;

(12) Prevent, detect, and relieve physical defects and deformities;

(13) Promote the prevention, early detection, and control of problems affecting the dental and oral health of the citizens of Georgia;

(14) Contract with county boards of health to assist in the performance of services incumbent upon them under Chapter 3 of this title and, in the event of grave emergencies of more than local peril, to employ whatever means may be at its disposal to overcome such emergencies;

(15) Contract and execute releases for assistance in the performance of its functions and the exercise of its powers and to supply services which are within its purview to perform;

(16) Enter into or upon public or private property at reasonable times for the purpose of inspecting same to determine the presence of disease and conditions deleterious to health or to determine compliance with health laws and rules, regulations, and standards thereunder;

(17) Promulgate and enforce rules and regulations for the licensing of medical facilities wherein abortion procedures under subsections (b) and (c) of Code Section 16-12-141 are to be performed; and, further, to disseminate and distribute educational information and medical supplies and treatment in order to prevent unwanted pregnancy; and

(18) Establish, by rule adopted pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 50, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,” a schedule of fees for laboratory services provided, schedules to be determined in a manner so as to help defray the costs incurred by the department, but in no event to exceed such costs, both direct and indirect, in providing such laboratory services, provided no person shall be denied services on the basis of his or her inability to pay. …

III.       County Boards of Health

Created one per county (O.C.G.A. § 31-3-1), comprised of 1) representative of county governing authority, 2) superintendent of county school board, 3) county-appointed physician, 4) county-appointed consumer representative, 5) largest city-appointed consumer or nurse promoting public health, 6) county-appointed consumer to represent needy/elderly, 7) representative of largest city (O.C.G.A. § 31-3-2).

IV.       Powers of County Board of Health

County Board’s of Health have extensive powers over public health issues, to adopt ordinances and regulations and to enforce such regulations.

O.C.G.A. § 31-3-4. County boards of health; their powers (abbreviated)

(a) The county board of health is empowered to:

(1) Establish and adopt bylaws for its own governance. Meetings shall be held no less frequently than quarterly;

(2) Exercise responsibility and authority in all matters within the county pertaining to health unless the responsibility for enforcement of such is by law that of another agency;

(3) Take such steps as may be necessary to prevent and suppress disease and conditions deleterious to health and to determine compliance with health laws and rules, regulations, and standards adopted thereunder;

(4) Adopt and enforce rules and regulations appropriate to its functions and powers, provided such rules and regulations are not in conflict with the rules and regulations of the department. Such rules and regulations must be reasonably adapted to the purposes intended and must be within the purview of the powers and duties imposed upon the county board of health by this chapter;

(5) Receive and administer all grants, gifts, moneys, and donations for purposes pertaining to health pursuant to this chapter;

(6) Make contracts and establish fees for the provision of public health services provided by county boards of health, including but not limited to environmental health services, which fees may be charged to persons or to establishments and premises within the county for inspection of such establishments, premises, structures and appurtenances thereto, or for other county board of health services. All such fees may be used to defray costs of providing such local services and shall supplement but not replace state or federal funding. No person shall be denied services on the basis of that person's inability to pay. The scope of services, operating details, contracts, and fees approved by the county board of health shall also be approved by the district director of health. No fees for environmental health services may be charged unless the schedule of fees for such services has been approved by the county governing authority;

(7) Contract with the Department of Community Health or other agencies for assistance in the performance of its functions and the exercise of its powers and for supplying services which are within its purview to perform, provided that such contracts and amendments thereto shall have first been approved by the department. …; and

(8) [specific to counties exceeding 400,000 population].

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions contained in subsection (a) of this Code section and Code Section 31-3-5, nothing contained in this Code section or Code Section 31-3-5 shall be construed to empower a county board of health to adopt any rules or regulations or provisions to enforce any rules or regulations pertaining to matters provided for or otherwise regulated pursuant to the provisions of Part 1 of Article 2 of Chapter 8 of Title 12, the “Georgia Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Act,” as now or hereafter amended, or the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to such part.

O.C.G.A. § 31-3-5. County boards of health; functions; adoption of regulations governing installation of on-site sewage management systems

(a) Subject to the provisions of Code Section 31-2-12 [limits local bond regulations on septic installers] and subsection (b) of this Code section, each county board of health shall have and discharge, within its jurisdiction, subject to any valid local Act which shall remain in force and effect, the following functions:

(1) To determine the health needs and resources of its jurisdiction by research and by collection, analysis, and evaluation of all data pertaining to the health of the community;

(2) To develop, in cooperation with the department, programs, activities, and facilities responsive to the needs of its area;

(3) To secure compliance with the rules and regulations of the department that have local application; and

(4) To enforce, or cause enforcement of, all laws pertaining to health unless the responsibility for the enforcement of such laws is that of another agency.

(b) Each county board of health shall have the power and duty to adopt regulations providing standards and requirements governing the installation of on-site sewage management systems within the incorporated and unincorporated area of the county, subject to the provisions of Code Section 31-2-12, any rules and regulations promulgated under Code Section 31-2-12, and subsection (d) of this Code section. Such regulations shall include and be limited to the following:

(1) Specifying the locations within the incorporated and unincorporated area of the county where on-site sewage management systems may be installed;

(2) Specifying the minimum lot size or land area which may be served by an on-site sewage management system based on scientific data regarding on-site sewage management systems;

(3) Specifying the types of residences, buildings, or facilities which may be served by on-site sewage management systems;

(4) Issuing permits for the installation of on-site sewage management systems prior to such installation;

(5) Inspecting on-site sewage management system installations prior to the completion of the installation; and

(6) Providing for ongoing maintenance of such systems, except for nonmechanical residential sewage management systems.

(c) Nothing in this Code section or in Code Section 31-3-5.1 shall limit the power of a county or municipal governing authority to exercise its zoning powers or to establish minimum lot sizes larger than the minimum lot sizes specified pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section.

O.C.G.A. § 31-3-5.1. Permits for and construction of sewage management systems to be in conformity with standards and regulations

No building permit for the construction of any residence, building, or other facility which is to be served by a sewage management system shall be issued by or pursuant to the authority of a county governing authority unless the sewage management system installation permit is in conformity with standards contained in Code Section 31-2-12 for sewage management systems. No person, firm, corporation, or other entity shall install a sewage management system in violation of the provisions of Code Section 31-2-12 or the regulations of a county board of health adopted pursuant to the authority of Code Section 31-3-5. Each county governing authority shall provide by ordinance or resolution for the enforcement of the provisions of this Code section.

O.C.G.A. § 31-3-10. Legal representation
The county board of health may require the legal services of the county attorney or, its budget permitting, may employ other counsel to assist in performing its duties.

O.C.G.A. § 31-5-9.  Injunction

(a) The Department of Community Health and all county boards of health are empowered to institute appropriate proceedings for injunction in the courts of competent jurisdiction in this state for the purpose of enjoining a violation of any provision of this title as now existing or as may be hereafter amended or of any regulation or order duly issued by the department or any county board of health, provided that this Code section shall not apply to violations of the provisions of Chapter 20 of this title [sterilization procedures]. The department and the county boards of health are also empowered to maintain action for injunction to abate any public nuisance which is injurious to the public health, safety, or comfort. Such actions may be maintained notwithstanding the fact that such violation also constitutes a crime and notwithstanding that other adequate remedies at law exist. Such actions may be instituted in the name of the department or any county board, as the case may be, in the county in which a violation of any provision of this title occurs. For purposes of this Code section, the county boards of health are declared to be legal entities capable of maintaining actions in their respective names without naming the individuals constituting such board, or acting on behalf of the department, as the case may be.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of Code Section 5-6-13, an appeal or a notice of intent to appeal an adjudication of contempt of court of a party subject to an interlocutory or final judgment in a court action for an injunction instituted under authority of this Code section for a violation of a licensing requirement of this title shall not operate as a supersedeas unless it is so ordered by the court; provided, however, that the court may grant a supersedeas in such a case after making a finding that the health, safety, or welfare of the recipients of the services will not be substantially harmed by the issuance of the stay.

(c) Unless otherwise ordered by the court pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section, an interlocutory or final judgment in an action granting an injunction under this Code section may be enforced by attachment for contempt.

See Appendix for example enforcement petition.

V.        Administrative Appeal to County Board of Health

Any person aggrieved by a decision of a county board of health or the local county health department has an appeal available to the Department of Community Health and then to Superior Court.  Review is on the record from the Board of Health.

O.C.G.A. § 31-5-3 (excerpt)
The court shall not substitute its judgment for that of the department as to the weight of the evidence on questions of fact. The court may affirm the decision of the department or remand the case for further proceedings. The court may reverse or modify the decision if substantial rights of the appellant have been prejudiced because the administrative findings, inferences, conclusions, or decisions are:

(A) In violation of constitutional or statutory provisions;

(B) In excess of the statutory authority of the department;

(C) Made upon unlawful procedure;

(D) Affected by other error of law;

(E) Clearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence on the whole record; or

(F) Arbitrary or capricious or characterized by abuse of discretion or clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion.

VI.       How Do We Get in Trouble (or How Do We Stay Out of Trouble)?

IMMUNITIES/DUTIES:

1) Employees are protected by official immunity (a/k/a qualified immunity):  A public officer or employee may be personally liable only for ministerial acts negligently performed or acts performed with malice or an intent to injure. The rationale for this immunity is to preserve the public employee’s independence of action without fear of lawsuits and to prevent a review of his or her judgment in hindsight.  A ministerial act is a required duty where there is no discretion or judgment involved.  A discretionary act calls for the exercise of personal deliberation and judgment, which in turn entails examining the facts, reaching reasoned conclusions, and acting on them in a way not specifically directed.

2) The Health Department is protected by sovereign immunity.  The state is not liable to being sued unless it consents to being sued.  Counties are political subdivisions of the state and subject to same general protection.  An exception is counties can be liable for the creation and/or maintenance of a nuisance.

Morris v. Douglas County Board of Health, 274 Ga. 898 (2002).

Purchasers of home and mortgagee brought action against county board of health, water and sewer authority, and authority's executive director, in which they alleged that defendants negligently failed to maintain and repair home's septic system. The Superior Court granted summary judgment for defendants. Home purchasers and mortgagee appealed. The Supreme Court held that: (1) actions of board with regard to approval and inspection of septic system did not constitute negligence that rose to level of inverse condemnation; (2) even if board were negligent, mere negligence was insufficient to constitute nuisance that rose to level of inverse condemnation; (3) board was not liable for anything that it did not do during single, visual inspection of septic system; (4) even if single, visual inspection of septic system was negligent, that negligence did not rise of level of inverse condemnation; and (5) authority and director did not have ongoing duty to maintain and repair septic system.

Gantt v. Bennett, 231 Ga.App. 238 (1998) (Forsyth County Board of Health)

There was sufficient evidence that county inspector knowingly made false representation, and that home purchasers reasonably relied thereon, to support fraud verdicts against county and inspector; inspector admitted that he issued permit for property and signed inspection report without performing visual inspection of septic system before it was covered up with dirt, as required by county regulations, and there was evidence that purchaser got letter from county health department at closing on home, stating that septic system "was examined and apparently operating properly."

Fielder v. Rice Construction Co., 239 Ga.App. 362 (1999) (Macon-Bibb County Board of Health)

County health department was entitled to sovereign immunity with respect to negligence claim asserted by homeowners who alleged that county yielded to pressure to allow substandard septic tank conditions to be approved, refused to require developer to take appropriate steps necessary to correct problem, and ordered and permitted inadequate corrective measures that maintained unabated nuisance; because there was no statutory waiver of sovereign immunity as to department, it was not subject to suit in tort except for inverse condemnation for nuisance.

It is the general rule that a county, when exercising governmental functions and acting as an agency of the state, is not liable, in the absence of a statute imposing liability, for its failure to perform a duty or for its negligent performance of the duty, not even when the duty is imposed by statute; there is no distinction in the application of this rule between the neglect to perform an act which ought to have been performed, and the performance of the duty in a negligent manner. When the county health department acts solely as a county agency, then it is governed by the same sovereign immunity as the county, and a waiver by specific legislative act is necessary in order for it to be subject to a suit in tort.

Alleged bad faith of county officials in purportedly yielding to pressure to allow substandard septic tank conditions to be approved, refusing to require developer to take appropriate steps necessary to correct problem, and ordering and permitting inadequate corrective measures, was not basis upon which county health department could be held liable on homeowners' negligence claim; department was entitled to sovereign immunity, and no individual officials or employees of department were named parties to action.

EEOC:

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces Federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination (Title VII of Civil Rights Act, Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, etc.). These laws protect employees and job applicants against employment discrimination when it involves:

  • Unfair treatment because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
  • Harassment by managers, co-workers, or others in the workplace, because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
  • Denial of a reasonable workplace accommodation that the employee needs because of religious beliefs or disability.
  • Retaliation because the employee complained about job discrimination, or assisted with a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

Covered actions include job advertising, application and hiring; job assignments and promotions; pay and benefits; and discipline and discharge.  EEOC law is a minefield; any allegation concerning any of the above should be brought to attention of superiors and legal counsel immediately.

Reasonable Accommodation of Disabilities

The law requires that an employer provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability, unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer.

A reasonable accommodation is any change in the workplace (or in the ways things are usually done) to help a person with a disability apply for a job, perform the duties of a job, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment.  Reasonable accommodation might include, for example, providing a ramp for a wheelchair user or providing a reader or interpreter for a blind or deaf employee or applicant.  Creating a new job or changing the job duties is not required.

Harassment

It is illegal to harass an employee because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.

It is also illegal to harass someone because they have complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

Retaliation

It is illegal to fire, demote, harass, or otherwise “retaliate” against people (applicants or employees) because they filed a charge of discrimination, because they complained to their employer about discrimination on the job, or because they participated in an employment discrimination proceeding (such as an investigation or lawsuit).

For example, it is illegal for an employer to refuse to promote an employee because she filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, even if EEOC later determined no discrimination occurred.

Discriminatory practices under the laws EEOC enforces also include constructive discharge or forcing an employee to resign by making the work environment so intolerable a reasonable person would not be able to stay.

DISCIPLINE/TERMINATION:

Georgia is a “right to work” state, meaning that agreements that require membership in a union to work at an employer are illegal.  It also means generally that most employees are “at will” and can be fired for any reason, as long as it is not an illegal reason (see EEOC section above).  Employees with employment contracts are subject to the provisions of that contract.  Certain government employers have opted-in to a civil service system which requires cause for termination and has disciplinary procedures.  Georgia dismantled its state civil service system in 1996, though existing classified employees could remain so.

In general, good advice is to enforce disciplinary polices fairly and even-handedly, and to document disciplinary violations in writing.  One key point is the unemployment insurance laws differ from the regular “at will” notions.  Unemployment benefits are generally only denied if the employer can show the employee just abandoned the job, committed criminal acts, intentionally failed to perform, or violated rules and the employer can demonstrate the employee knew the rules.

O.C.G.A. § 34-8-194 Disqualification for Benefits. (excerpt)

An individual shall not be disqualified for benefits under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph if, based on the rules and regulations promulgated by the Commissioner, the Commissioner determines:

(i) The individual made a good faith effort to perform the duties for which hired but was simply unable to do so;

(ii) The individual did not intentionally fail or consciously neglect to perform his or her job duties;

(iii) The discharge occurred because of absenteeism and the absences were caused by illness of the claimant or a family member, unless the claimant has without justification failed to notify the employer or the absence for such illness …

(iv) The discharge occurred as a violation of the employer's rule of which the claimant was not informed by having been made aware thereof by the employer or through common knowledge. Consistency of prior enforcement shall be taken into account as to the reasonableness or existence of the rule and such rule must be lawful and reasonably related to the job environment and job performance; or

(v) Except for activity requiring disqualification under paragraph (4) of this Code section, the employee was exercising a protected right to protest against wages, hours, working conditions, or job safety under the federal National Labor Relations Act [FN2] or other laws.
Amazingly, being incompetent at your job is not a reason that unemployment benefits are denied.  Best way for employer to terminate employee and avoid unemployment benefits is to document receipt of policy (whether procedure manual or other policy) and then to document repeated violations of same.  Of course, note that this must be done consistently, or the Commissioner may disregard.  The Department of Labor is generally pretty pro-employee and appears more inclined to try and grant benefits than deny benefits.
Employee who does not perform her work assignment adequately because she is unable to do so, that is, through no fault or conscious neglect, cannot be penalized under section of unemployment compensation law permitting denial of benefits for failure to obey work orders, rules or instructions or failure to discharge duties.  Millen v. Caldwell, 253 Ga. 112 (1984).
Teacher who was advised to resign after her teaching certificate expired and she failed competency examination three times was entitled to unemployment compensation benefits, even though she could have taken the test several more times. Troup Co. Bd. of Ed. v. Daniel, 191 Ga.App. 370 (1989).

VII.     QUESTIONS

Please feel free to call me in the future with any questions (770/387-1373) or email me:  peterolson@ga-lawyers.pro.

APPENDIX

I.          SAMPLE INJUNCTIVE ENFORCEMENT PETITION

IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF BARTOW COUNTY
STATE OF GEORGIA

BARTOW COUNTY BOARD )
OF HEALTH, )
)
Petitioner,)
)
VS. )CASE NO._______________
)
JOHN DOE, )
)
Respondent.)

 

PETITION FOR INJUNCTION AND OTHER RELIEF

COMES NOW the Bartow County Board of Health, Petitioner in the above-styled action, and shows to the Court the following:

1.

Petitioner is empowered to bring this action pursuant to the powers conferred upon it by O.C.G.A. §§ 31-3-4, 31-3-5, 31-5-9, 31-5-16 and other applicable code sections of the Official Code of Georgia.

2.

Respondent JOHN DOE is the owner of certain property located at 100 Main Street, Cartersville, Bartow County, Georgia, upon which is a malfunctioning individual sewage disposal system, along with trash, garbage and refuge that is not being kept in an approved and tightly sealed garbage container, and that is being kept in such a manner as to be offensive, objectionable, and detrimental to public health and well-being.  Said property is further described as tax parcel identification number ___________ and is recorded in Deed Book ____ , Page ___ of the Bartow County records.

3.

Respondent is subject to the jurisdiction and venue of this Honorable Court pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 31-5-9.  Respondent may be served with a copy of this petition at 222 Meadow Lane, Cartersville, Georgia 30120.

4.

Petitioner has repeatedly advised Respondent that the subject property has a malfunctioning individual sewage disposal system and constitutes a violation of the rules and regulations of the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health, Chapter 290-5-26.

5.

Despite being so advised, Respondent failed to properly correct the malfunctioning individual septic system on said property, in violation of the rules and regulations of the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health.

6.

Petitioner has also repeatedly advised Respondent that the subject property has a severe garbage and refuse problem that constitutes a violation of the Bartow County Nuisance Ordinance, codified at Sec. 42-121 et al. of the Code of Bartow County.

7.

Despite being so advised, Respondent failed to properly correct the severe garbage and refuse problem on said property, in violation of the Bartow County Nuisance Ordinance, codified at Sec. 42-121 et al. of the Code of Bartow County.

8.

Chapter 290-5-26-.18 of the Rules and Regulations for On-Site Sewage Management Systems states that “No person shall allow the unapproved discharge or spillage of sewage, nor shall an on-site sewage management system be used or maintained in such a manner that will allow the seepage or discharge of effluent from such system to the ground surface, to a water course, drainage ditch, open trench, canal, storm drain or storm sewer… [etc.]”

9.

Employees of the Bartow County Board of Health have observed repeated violations of Rule 290-5-26-.18 on Respondent’s property at 100 Main Street, Cartersville, Georgia.  Respondent has been previously notified of these violations by letter.

10.

As of the date of the petition, sufficient and appropriate corrective action has not been taken, and the property is still in violation of State Health Rules.

11.

Sec. 42-126(4) of the Code of Bartow County states that the creation or maintenance of “trash, garbage, refuse, or any foul, decaying or putrescent material not kept in an approved and tightly sealed garbage container, or kept in such a manner or place as to be or become offensive, objectionable, or detrimental to health or well-being” shall be declared to be a nuisance, and to be unlawful.

12.

Employees of the Bartow County Board of Health have observed repeated violations of Sec. 42-126(4) of the Code of Bartow County on Respondent’s property at 81 Old Tennessee Road, Cartersville, Georgia.  Respondent has been previously notified of these violations by letter.

13.

As of the date of the petition, sufficient and appropriate corrective action has not been taken, and the property is still in violation of Sec. 42-126(4) of the Code of Bartow County.

14.

O.C.G.A. § 31-5-9 states that the County Boards of Health are empowered to institute appropriate proceedings for injunction for the purpose of enjoining a violation of the rules and regulations of the Bartow County Board of Health.

15.

Respondent’s actions constitute a nuisance and a danger to the health and safety of the citizens of Bartow County in violation of the laws of this State if it is allowed to proceed in violation of said rules and regulations.

16.

The property constitutes a general public nuisance under O.C.G.A. § 41-1-1 et seq. and § 41-1-2 et seq.  The Superior Court has jurisdiction to require the abatement of the nuisance, by ordering the repair of the septic system and the cleaning and removal of the garbage or refuse on the subject property.

17.

Under O.C.G.A. § 41-2-2, the County has authority to file for an injunction to abate the public nuisance.  This petition is filed pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 41-2-2 and the Court is authorized to order the nuisance be abated.

WHEREFORE, Petitioner prays for this Honorable Court:

1.             To issue a Rule Nisi for Respondent to show cause why Petitioner’s prayer for an injunction should not be granted;

2.             To enjoin and restrain Respondent from continuing to use an individual sewage disposal system, without a proper permit from the Bartow County Board of Health, and to require Respondent to repair such system and keep it functioning properly;

3.             To enjoin and restrain Respondent from permitting others to occupy any dwelling or structure on said property until such time as an adequate and proper sewage disposal system has been installed, inspected, and approved by Petitioner according to its rules and regulations;

4.             To terminate water and power service to said property until such time as Respondent has complied with the rules and regulations of Petitioner;

5.             To enjoin and restrain Respondent from continuing to maintain the subject property in a manner which violates Sec. 42-126(4) of the Code of Bartow County;

6.             To reimburse Bartow County for the costs, including attorney’s fees, for bringing this action under O.C.G.A. § 13-6-11 and O.C.G.A. § 9-15-14; and

7.             For such other and additional relief as the Court deems just and proper.

This day of ______________, 20____.

Respectfully submitted,
JENKINS, OLSON & BOWEN, P.C.
Peter R. Olson