Rutherford County, NC, Western North Carolina, News,arrests, RC Catalyst, Judicial District 29A State Claims Against Judges and DA move back to State Court – Foothills Catalyst

State Claims Against Judges and DA move back to State Court

As previously reported, a local attorney filed suit against Resident Superior Court Judge Tommy Davis, Chief District Court Judge Robert Martell, District Court Judge Ellen Shelly, District Court Michelle McEntyre and District Attorney Ted Bell for allegedly violating the North Carolina Open Meetings Act by holding a judicial Council Meetings, and engaging in retaliatory actions toward the attorney in response to his exercising of free speech rights.

Although this case was filed in State court, the defendants removed the case to federal court.

On February 16, 2022, the federal judge issued an order dismissing the federal claims but allowing the State law claims to proceed.  While the judge had previously raised concerns as to the proprietary of the defendants’ actions, the court declined to address this issue further after concluding that defendants – as State actors – are immune  from claims under the US Constitution.

Although the Court allowed the State law claims to proceed, it declined to retain jurisdiction over those claims.  As a result, the litigation will now be returned to State court, where the matter will proceed.