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Court of Appeals of Georgia.


No. A99A1386.

Decided: July 29, 1999

Smith, Ronick & Corbin, Howard R. Ronick, Atlanta, for appellant. Patrick H. Head, District Attorney, Debra H. Bernes, Maria B. Golick, Nancy I. Jordan, Assistant District Attorneys, for appellee.

Defendant Warren pleaded guilty pursuant to North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25, 91 S.Ct. 160, 27 L.Ed.2d 162, to two counts of sexual battery.   After successfully completing consecutive 12-month sentences on probation, defendant filed this direct appeal from an order denying his motion to expunge his criminal record after being discharged under Georgia's First Offender Act, OCGA § 42-8-60 et seq.   Held:

 Appeals from orders entered pursuant to the superior court's de novo review authority under OCGA § 35-3-37(c) must be made via OCGA § 5-6-35's discretionary appeal procedures.  Strohecker v. Gwinnett County Police Dept., 182 Ga.App. 853, 854(2), 357 S.E.2d 305.   Our jurisdiction is invoked only by following the appropriate procedure, and where that procedure is not followed, this Court has no jurisdiction to consider the merits of the appeal.   See Summerset v. Dept. of Offender Rehabilitation, 167 Ga.App. 730, 731, 307 S.E.2d 678.   Since defendant Warren failed to comply with the mandatory procedures for discretionary review of the superior court's order denying his motion to expunge his criminal record, this direct appeal must be dismissed.

Appeal dismissed.

McMURRAY, Presiding Judge.

ANDREWS, P.J., and RUFFIN, J., concur.

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