Case: Zitrin v. Georgia Composite Board of State Medical Examiners

05-cv-103905 | Georgia state trial court

Filed Date: July 22, 2005

Closed Date: 2008

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Dr. Arthur Zitrin, a New York University psychiatry professor and death penalty abolitionist, filed a formal complaint with the Georgia State Board of Medical Examiners against Dr. Hothur Sanjeeva Rao over Rao's involvement in an execution. In December 2004, the Georgia board dismissed the complaint and denied Zitrin's appeal. Zitrin argued that "[a]ll existing standards internationally and nationally held by professional health societies bars doctors from participating."On July 22, 2005, Zitr…

Dr. Arthur Zitrin, a New York University psychiatry professor and death penalty abolitionist, filed a formal complaint with the Georgia State Board of Medical Examiners against Dr. Hothur Sanjeeva Rao over Rao's involvement in an execution. In December 2004, the Georgia board dismissed the complaint and denied Zitrin's appeal. Zitrin argued that "[a]ll existing standards internationally and nationally held by professional health societies bars doctors from participating."

On July 22, 2005, Zitrin filed a lawsuit against the Georgia Composite Board of State Medical Examiners in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia, seeking to compel the Georgia medical board to punish doctors participating in the execution of prisoners. The plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief and asked the court to hold that the relevant American Medical Association guidelines and Georgia statutes bar such participation. On July 31, 2006, the trial court (Judge Stephanie B. Manis) granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.

The plaintiff appealed on January 8, 2007 to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed on October 18, 2007. That court found that the plaintiff lacked standing to get declaratory relief or to bring a claim under the APA because under state law, "a plaintiff must demonstrate facts or circumstances whereby he is in a position of uncertainty or insecurity because of a dispute and having to take some future action which is properly incident to [his] alleged right, and which future action without direction from the court might reasonably jeopardize his interest." The court found nothing on the record showed that the plaintiff had such uncertainty, had participated in executions, or had been threatened with discipline for such participation. To have standing under the APA, the court found that a plaintiff must "demonstrate special damage suffered as a result of the decision appealed from, rather than some damage common to all those similarly situated." The court held that the plaintiff failed to show injuries specially suffered by him rather than common to all similarly situated. 288 Ga.App. 295.

The plaintiff then appealed to the state Supreme Court, which denied cert on March 10, 2008.

We have limited information regarding this case. The case appears to be closed.

Summary Authors

Kristen Sagar (8/28/2007)

Virginia Weeks (1/28/2018)

People


Judge(s)

Manis , Stephanie B. (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Manheimer , Hollie (Georgia)

Weber, Gerald R. (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Monroe , Wylencia Hood (Georgia)

Judge(s)

Manis , Stephanie B. (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Manheimer , Hollie (Georgia)

Weber, Gerald R. (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Monroe , Wylencia Hood (Georgia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

05-cv-103905

Final Order

Zitrin v. Georgia Composite State Board of Medical Examiners

July 28, 2006

July 28, 2006

Order/Opinion

S07A0318

Brief on Behalf of Appellees-State Board

Zitrin v. Georgia Composite State Board of Medical Examiners

Georgia state appellate court

Dec. 12, 2006

Dec. 12, 2006

Pleading / Motion / Brief

S07A0318

Brief of Appellant-Physicians

Zitrin v. Georgia Composite State Board of Medical Examiners

Georgia state appellate court

Jan. 1, 2007

Jan. 1, 2007

Pleading / Motion / Brief

05-cv-103905

Order

653 S.E.2d 758

Oct. 18, 2007

Oct. 18, 2007

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 26, 2022, 3 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Georgia

Case Type(s):

Criminal Justice (Other)

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 22, 2005

Closing Date: 2008

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Doctors practicing in and out of Georgia seeking judgment that participation by a physician in an execution is barred

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Georgia Composite Board of State Medical Examiners , State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Excessive force

International law

Death Penalty:

Lethal Injection - General

Lethal Injection - Staffing (including physician)