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Gardei v. Conway, et al.

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Court: Supreme Court of Georgia

Docket: S21G0430

Opinion Date: February 1, 2022

Judge: Carla Wong McMillian

Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Personal Injury

This case law update is brought to you by Freeway Law auto accident and personal injury lawyers in Orange County. The following is not one of our cases, but it is of some significance, and we thought we should share it with our readers for informational purposes. The information above is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice.

Carl Gardei filed a petition for declaratory judgment against R. L. “Butch” Conway, the Sheriff of Gwinnett County, Georgia, and D. Victor Reynolds, the Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (“GBI”), in their individual capacities (collectively “Respondents”), alleging that Respondents’ continued enforcement against him of the statutory requirements governing Georgia’s Sex Offender Registry (the “Registry”) violated his constitutional rights. The trial court dismissed Gardei’s petition on the ground that his claims for relief were time-barred under OCGA 9-3-33, the two-year statute of limitation for personal injury claims because Gardei had initially registered under the Registry Act in 2009 and every year thereafter. The Court of Appeals affirmed in a divided opinion. The Georgia Supreme Court granted Gardei’s petition for certiorari to address whether Gardei’s claims for declaratory and injunctive relief were subject to the limitation period set forth in OCGA 9-3-33, and whether any applicable statute of limitation was tolled based on the requirement that Gardei annually renews his sex-offender registration. The Supreme Court concluded that although Gardei’s claims were subject to the two-year statute of limitation under OCGA 9-3-33 because he sought only prospective relief, the statute of limitation on those claims had not yet begun to run. Therefore, the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals’ judgment holding that Gardei’s claims were time-barred, and remanded the case for further proceedings.

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