News Release: Law

Feb. 21,  2008

Ga. Supreme Court to Hold Oral Arguments at Emory Law

The Supreme Court of Georgia will hold oral arguments in Emory Law School's Tull Auditorium Tuesday, Feb. 26, from 10 a.m. to noon. The session is open, and the public is invited to attend.

The Court will hear arguments in Reaves v. The State, and Hardin et al. v. NBC Universal et al.

Reaves v. The State is an interim death penalty appeal. The State is seeking the death penalty in this Henry County case against Charlott Lynett Reaves and her husband, Rodney Michael Reaves, for the alleged child abuse and murder of his 11-year-old daughter, Joella. Charlott Reaves is the child's stepmother. The couple is being tried separately. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in her husband's pre-trial appeal Feb. 11. Three school employees have also been charged in this case with failing to report signs of child abuse.

In Hardin et al. v. NBC Universal Inc. et al., the plaintiffs are Georgia residents who participated in NBC's "Deal or No Deal" at home game by text messaging their entry for a $.99 charge. The plaintiffs have filed suit against NBC and other defendants arguing that Georgia law permits them to recoup their text messaging fees because the at-home game was an illegal lottery. The case is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The District Court has certified two questions to the Georgia Supreme Court that will be argued Feb. 26. First, does Georgia Law (O.C.G.A. s. 13-8-3(b)) authorize the filing and maintenance of a civil suit to recover money paid out or lost on account of one's participation in an illegal lottery? Second, if the answer is in the affirmative, may the plaintiffs recover from the lottery's promoter or organizer?

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