✍️✍️✍️ Summary: The Case Against Hubert Morgan

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Summary: The Case Against Hubert Morgan



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FAQ Privacy Policy. Rickman, Judge. Hugh W. Dupont answered, denied liability, and asserted several affirmative defenses. Roberts and NHF Farms moved for summary judgment. Roberts and NHF Farms appeal from that order. They contend that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to DuPont sua sponte without providing them full and fair notice and an opportunity to respond. At the time, Roberts was a principal of Georgia Lumber. Georgia Lumber advanced funds to Hubert Moore Lumber to finance lumber inventory. In January , Roberts and NHF Farms received statutory notice from Douglas National Bank that due to a default in the underlying note and the deed to secure debt signed by Roberts and NHF Farms, the entire balance was being accelerated, and payment in full was required.

All documents referenced in the complaint were attached as exhibits thereto. Based on the foregoing, Roberts and NHF Farms alleged that they were third-party beneficiaries of the indemnification agreement between DuPont and Hubert Moore Lumber and were entitled to enforce the terms of that agreement. Roberts and NHF Farms further alleged that DuPont breached the indemnification agreement by failing to keep current on all notes on which Hubert Moore Lumber was obligated to prevent any default and any legal action against any parties legally obligated on said notes.

After conducting discovery, Roberts and NHF Farms moved for summary judgment on their breach of contract claim. The trial court held a hearing on the motion, which was not transcribed, and then denied the motion. Roberts and NHF Farms initially contend that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to DuPont sua sponte without giving them full and fair notice and opportunity to respond. They argue that in dismissing the complaint, the trial court considered matters outside the pleadings, and that we should therefore treat the dismissal as a grant of summary judgment for which notice and an opportunity to respond are required.

Minnifield v. Wells Fargo Bank, N. It is true that the trial court relied on affidavits submitted by DuPont in denying the motion for summary judgment filed by Roberts and NHF Farms. Petree v. See generally Lord v. Lowe , Ga. A trial court has the authority to dismiss claims sua sponte if it can determine from the pleadings that the claims cannot succeed as a matter of law. See Perry Golf Course Dev. Housing Auth.

Dwarf House, Inc. Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Pinnacle Bank , Ga. The short and plain statement of the claims must include enough detail to afford the defendant fair notice of the nature of the claim and a fair opportunity to frame a responsive pleading. If a complaint gives the defendant fair notice of the nature of the claim, it should be dismissed for failure to state a claim only if, as our Supreme Court has explained, its allegations disclose with certainty that no set of facts consistent with the allegations could be proved that would entitle the plaintiff to the relief he seeks. Put another way, if, within the framework of the complaint, evidence may be introduced which will sustain a grant of relief to the plaintiff, the complaint is sufficient.

Citations and punctuation omitted. Benedict v. Houghton v. Sacor Financial , Ga. The complaint, coupled with the exhibits thereto, adequately put DuPont on notice of the breach of contract claim being asserted against it, and the trial court erred to the extent that it found that the complaint failed to state such a claim. See Roberts v. In their complaint, Roberts and NHF Farms allege that they are third-party beneficiaries of the indemnification agreement between DuPont and Hubert Moore Lumber and are therefore entitled to enforce the terms of the agreement. Thus, they are not claiming to be in privity of contract with DuPont but are alleging third-party beneficiary status.

Tobin , Ga. Accordingly, the trial court erred by dismissing the complaint based on lack of privity of contract. Here, the complaint alleges and the indemnification agreement shows that DuPont is the sole obligor on the portion of the indemnification agreement relied upon by Roberts and NHF Farms to support their third party beneficiary breach of contract claim. Free v. In addition, the complaint does not assert claims on behalf of Georgia Lumber or against Hubert Moore Lumber. Thus, the allegations of the complaint do not affirmatively prove a failure to include necessary and indispensable parties, and the trial court therefore erred by dismissing the complaint on that basis.

See Speedway Motorsports , Ga. The Cass County District Court summarily denied the petition. Morgan appeals the summary nature of the denial and seeks an order requiring a district court hearing on the merits of the petition. We hold Morgan was not entitled to a hearing on the petition and affirm the post-conviction court's denial of the petition on its merits. The history and facts of this case are known to the court. State v. Morgan, Minn. In , John Morgan and a friend took John Estrella and Patricia Hamilton to a wooded area near a cabin in northern Minnesota where the group was staying. There, Morgan shot and killed the two. He was subsequently arrested and held in the Wadena County jail, from which he escaped. Before he was recaptured, Morgan held a farm family hostage for two days.

Morgan pled guilty to a kidnapping charge for the hostage incident. After a change of venue, he was tried by jury in Ramsey County for the murders of Estrella and Hamilton. The key witness at the trial was Regina Delverde, an eyewitness to the murders and preceding events. Morgan was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to two concurrent life sentences. We upheld the convictions on appeal. Morgan is presently incarcerated in state prison. Morgan's co-defendant on the murder charges was tried separately and acquitted. In , Morgan petitioned the Cass County District Court for post-conviction relief, alleging several grounds on which he claimed to be entitled to either sentence reduction or a new trial: 1 newly discovered evidence statement by co-defendant and perjured testimony by the state's key witness at the trial; 2 ineffective assistance of counsel; and 3 other factors, including trial court error, co-defendant's acquittal on the same charges, and the public interest, which, cumulatively, might warrant some judicial relief.

The post-conviction court determined on the record that Morgan was entitled to no relief and denied the petition without a hearing. On appeal, Morgan raises only the narrow issue of whether he was entitled to a hearing on his petition under Minn. Furthermore, all claims known but not raised at the time of direct appeal will not be considered in a subsequent petition for post-conviction relief. Knaffla, Minn. But see Case v. State, N. Our review of whether the summary nature of the denial was proper requires us to determine whether any of the alleged grounds for relief require a hearing. Morgan claims two pieces of newly discovered evidence entitle him to post-conviction relief.

First, Morgan's acquitted co-defendant has submitted an affidavit attesting that Morgan was intoxicated at the time of the murders of Hamilton and Estrella and did not premeditate the killings but participated spontaneously. This claim concerns Morgan's state of mind and cannot be said, therefore, to have been unavailable at the time of trial or direct appeal. See Knaffla, Minn. On the basis of the Knaffla rule, Morgan is not entitled to either sentence reduction or a new trial on grounds of the co-defendant's newly offered evidence. Morgan next contends that he can offer newly discovered evidence that Regina Delverde, the state's key witness at the murder trial, perjured herself when she testified that she had received no benefit from the state for her testimony.

Morgan claims he can show, upon information and belief, that the state provided for Delverde's oral surgery and dental work before trial. A new trial will be granted when trial evidence is discovered to have been false or perjured if the jury might have reached a different conclusion in the absence of the false or perjured testimony. Caldwell, N. If the proffered evidence of Delverde's perjury is true it would not alter her direct testimony implicating Morgan in the murders, but only impeach her credibility generally.

This would be of no avail, for even if a jury on retrial entirely discounted Delverde's testimony as a result of this impeachment there is other and convincing evidence that Morgan killed Estrella and Hamilton. Morgan admitted to the farmer he held hostage that the two people he was accused of killing "were a couple of young punks playing in the wrong league," and that "[i]t was either them or us. We conclude that a jury would not reach a different conclusion on retrial if Delverde's testimony were impeached and hold that Morgan is not entitled to a new trial on the ground of newly discovered evidence of Delverde's perjury.

Morgan contends he received ineffective assistance of counsel at trial. As proof, he points to the fact that his co-defendant was tried separately and acquitted and that his attorney did not request a jury instruction on lesser included offenses to first-degree murder. Heinkel, N. The defendant bears the burden of proving ineffective assistance of counsel.

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