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Additional Nelson Mullins Alerts

April 3, 2019

HB 311 Client Alert

By Brandon O. Moulard

HB 311 passed the Georgia Senate on March 25, 2019, and now goes to the governor, who is expected to sign it into law. The bill creates a limited waiver of sovereign immunity by permitting plaintiffs to sue the state, counties, and other local governmental entities for declaratory or injunctive relief. Under a 2017 Georgia Supreme Court decision, such lawsuits used to be barred by sovereign immunity. HB 311, if enacted, would do the following:

  • Partially overrule that 2017 decision and allow plaintiffs to obtain an injunction or declaratory judgment against a government entity that has acted unlawfully.
  • Preserve the government’s sovereign immunity from claims for monetary relief.
  • Make it more difficult for plaintiffs to sue public employees based on their performance or nonperformance of official duties.

However, HB 311 does not appear to waive the sovereign immunity of school systems. We believe the sovereign immunity of school systems would remain fully intact after passage of the bill.

If signed, the bill would go into effect on July 1, 2019.

For any questions about this alert, please contact Brandon Moulard at brandon.moulard@nelsonmullins.com.