By Nathan Baker
A request to dismiss a lawsuit against a Carter County judge claims the lawsuit was improperly filed and is too broad in its request, but the attorney representing the opposing side promised the legal action will go on.
Greeneville attorney Jeffrey Ward filed a motion for dismissal last week of the suit brought against Carter County General Sessions Court Judge John Walton by Acie Lee Justus, who claims Walton violated his rights and the rights of others by charging them with contempt of court and holding them without bond in the Carter County Jail for extended periods of time.
A complaint filed in January by Justus’ attorneys, Casey A. Sears II and Don Spurrell, asks a chancery court judge to forbid Walton from using his powers of contempt to “violate the constitutional rights of individuals” in his court.
But Ward said the suit should be dismissed because Justus’ attorney failed to submit a supporting affidavit, as required by state law, and that the lawsuit seeks relief for unnamed hypothetical individuals, something the chancery court is not authorized to grant.
Ward also writes that Justus claims a violation of his constitutional right to due process of the law, but that Justus was arraigned, granted a bond and has been scheduled for a hearing of the contempt charge in accordance with established legal procedures.
But Spurrell promised Tuesday that his client’s case will not be dismissed, and said he is putting together the proper paperwork to keep it active.