Supreme Court Dismisses Paulk vs. Carroll County Case

Georgia’s Supreme Court on Tuesday has seemingly put an end to a local businessman’s attempt to start a new business that Carroll County government and some nearby residents did not approve.

The nearly three year battle between Shot Spot owner, John Paulk and Carroll County government began in 2016 after Paulk asked Carroll County for a  zoning change for his property on Martin Cemetery Road.

Paulk had asked the Carroll County Board of Commissioners to approve his plan for a skeet-shooting range, an event center, as well as a number of homes on 155 acres on Martin Cemetery Road.

The Board rejected the plan in November 2016— and did so again in May of 2018. A main reason for denial was nearby-residents’ concerns over increased noise associated with shooting ranges and a potential increase in traffic.

That prompted Paulk and his attorneys to appeal the Board’s ruling in Carroll County Superior Court.

In January of 2019, Carroll County Chief Superior Court Judge John Simpson ruled against Paulk’s lawsuit. Simpson said the range is not a permitted use under Carroll County’s zoning ordinance. Simpson also ruled that Paulk was not entitled to damages he was seeking from the county.

But in April a Supreme Court Judge challenged Simpson’s ruling, granting Paulk’s application for discretionary appeal in this case. After review from the supreme court, the case was ultimately dismissed on Tuesday.

Official court rulings can be seen below.

The Honorable Supreme Court met pursuant to adjournment.

 The following order was passed.

 JOHN I. PAULK, JR. v. CARROLL COUNTY et al.

 Upon careful review of the parties’ briefs and the full record, the Court has determined that the application for discretionary appeal in this case was improvidently granted (meaning the Court should not have accepted the case).

Accordingly, the appeal is hereby dismissed. Appeal dismissed. All the Justices concur.

Soon after learning of the court’s decision, Paulk told WLBB Radio : “It appears the Georgia Supreme Court has ruled against a land owner’s constitutional property rights. I am in total shock as my attorney is.”