lawskills
Loading
Did you know you can download our entire database for free?


Resources
[more] 

Georgia Caselaw:
Browse
Greatest Hits

Georgia Code: Browse

(external) Findlaw Georgia Law Resources


This site exists because of donors like you.

Thanks!


Lawskills.com Georgia Caselaw
THE STATE v. MILITARY CIRCLE PET CENTER NO. 94, INC.
44394.
HUNT, Justice.
We granted certiorari in this case to determine whether the state was required to allege the provisions of OCGA 16-2-22 (a) (2) in the accusations against the corporate defendant, Military Circle Pet Center No. 94, Inc., d/b/a Docktor Pet Center ("Docktor Pet"), charging that defendant with deceptive business practices under OCGA 16-9-50. Military Circle Pet Center v. State, 181 Ga. App. 657 (353 SE2d 555) (1987). The Court of Appeals held that the accusations were insufficient because of the state's failure to allege the provisions of OCGA 16-2-22 (a) (2) and reversed the trial court's order denying Docktor Pet's motion to quash those accusations. The state appeals and we reverse.
OCGA 17-7-71 (c) provides: "Every accusation which states the offense in the terms and language of the law or so plainly that the nature of the offense charged may be easily understood by the jury shall be deemed sufficiently technical and correct." Although the accusations against Docktor Pet for violations of OCGA 16-9-50 plainly set forth that Docktor Pet was charged with knowingly selling sick animals, identified in the accusations, while representing those animals as being healthy, Docktor Pet argued and the Court of Appeals held that the accusations against Docktor Pet failed to allege the essential elements of a crime because OCGA 16-2-22 (a) limits criminal liability of corporations to two instances, neither of which was alleged in the accusations. OCGA 16-2-22 provides, in pertinent part:
"(a) A corporation may be prosecuted for the act or omission constituting a crime only if:
(1) The crime is defined by a statute which clearly indicates a legislative purpose to impose liability on a corporation, and an agent of the corporation performs the conduct which is an element of the crime while acting within the scope of his office or employment and in behalf of the corporation; or
(2) The commission of the crime is authorized, requested, commanded, performed, or recklessly tolerated by the board of directors or by a managerial official who is acting within the scope of his employment in behalf of the corporation."
It is uncontroverted that OCGA 16-9-50, defining the crime of deceptive business practices, does not contain in its definition any indication of a legislative purpose to impose liability on a corporation. It is also undisputed that the accusations against Docktor Pet under this code section do not allege any of the provisions of OCGA 16-2-22 (2).
We agree with the state that it was not required to allege the provisions of OCGA 16-2-22 in the accusations in question. OCGA 16-2-22 falls within Article 2, the parties to a crime subsection, of Chapter 2, entitled "Criminal Liability," of the Official Code of Georgia. Article 2 consists of three sections, OCGA 16-2-20, 16-2-21, and 16-2-22, each of which outlines the ways in which a person or entity may become criminally liable as a party to a crime, e.g., by directly committing the crime, or by aiding or abetting in the commission of a crime (OCGA 16-2-20; 16-2-21), or, in the case of a corporation, by certain acts of its agents where legislative intent clearly imposes criminal liability (OCGA 16-2-22 (1)) or by certain acts of its directors or managerial officials (OCGA 16-2-22 (2)). Although the state must prove the applicable provisions of the foregoing code sections at trial against a criminal defendant, it is not necessary that the state allege these provisions in the accusation. OCGA 17-7-71 (c), supra, and the standards of due process, govern the requirements of the indictment, see Bilbrey v. State, 254 Ga. 629, 632 (1) (331 SE2d 551) (1985), and these requirements were satisfied in the accusations in question.
Accordingly, Division 1 (d) of the Court of Appeals opinion is reversed and, because the scope of the question on certiorari is limited to that division, we do not address the state's remaining enumerations of error.
Webb & Daniel, Phillip S. Coe, Laurie Webb Daniel, for appellee.
Patrick H. Head, Solicitor, Melodie H. Clayton, Barbara M. Lassiter, Assistant Solicitors, for appellant.
DECIDED SEPTEMBER 10, 1987.
Thursday May 21 14:25 EDT


This site exists because of donors like you.

Thanks!


Valid HTML 4.0!

Valid CSS!





Home - Tour - Disclaimer - Privacy - Contact Us
Copyright © 2000,2002,2004 Lawskills.com