On April 21, 2009, Thomas stipulated the case to the trial calender. Specifically, Thomas's trial counsel stated at the hearing that “I have a motion to consolidate both cases since I think that they do intermingle with one another.” Bobby consented to the motion, and the trial court verbally granted the motion to consolidate. (Citations, punctuation, and emphasis omitted.) Follmer v.
Following a jury verdict, the trial court entered judgment in favor of Thomas and against both defendants in the amount of $515,300.76.
The trial court consolidated the two cases, which proceeded to trial.
On April 4, 2005, Thomas filed a second action against Brown, adding Claudia Brown as a defendant and seeking to recover under various promissory notes and rental income (“the 2005 case”).
Bobby Brown to recover various debts and seeking equitable distribution (“the 2004 case”).
Then, on May 20, 2009, more than three years after his motion to consolidate, Thomas filed a motion that the two cases be tried separately, arguing that the claims, parties, and causes of action in the two cases were “separate and distinct.” Shortly thereafter, the trial court entered a written order consolidating the two cases.
Under these circumstances, we find Thomas's enumeration meritless. He requested consolidation, and the fact that he later rescinded his consent thereto does not render erroneous the trial court's failure to separate the two cases for trial. E.2d 426) (1973) (“In the absence of fraud or mistake, a party cannot complain of a judgment, order, or ruling that his own conduct produced or aided in causing.”).8. To hold otherwise would be to require trial courts to set aside consolidation orders every time a party revoked its consent, a result not required by the statute and one that would, in the words of the Supreme Court, “conflict[ ] with the general intent of the consolidation rule,” for which the “objective is to give the [trial] court broad discretion to decide how cases on its docket are to be tried so that the business of the court may be dispatched with expedition and economy while providing justice to the parties.” We are also unpersuaded by Thomas's argument that a third party-United Community Bank of North Georgia (“United”)-did not consent to consolidation. More importantly, given that he specifically sought consolidation, Thomas's argument that United failed to consent thereto is unavailing.2. It does not appear that the affidavits were admitted into evidence.9. Thomas contends that the trial court erred by permitting Bobby to be absent from trial and substituting Bobby's son-in-law, Ron Mayhew “to act in his stead and in his place.”Before the trial began, Thomas's trial counsel noted Bobby's absence and objected thereto, as well as to “Mayhew's presence in court.” Bobby's trial counsel provided two affidavits, which Thomas's counsel reviewed and characterized as one dated September 2008, that accompanied an application for conservatorship of Bobby; and another dated June 2008 from Bobby's physician stating that Bobby's health had declined to such an extent that he was unable to attend trial. After reviewing the affidavits, the trial court ruled that it would excuse Bobby's presence and permit Mayhew to remain in the courtroom for the duration of the trial. Pretermitting whether the trial court abused its discretion in excusing Bobby's presence from trial and permitting Mayhew to remain at the defendants' table for the trial, Thomas has not demonstrated that he was harmed by these rulings.