First, the comments:
Mr. Willie Green copied me on his Message to Senior Superior Court Judge Forrest Don Bridges in regard to my article and his experiences with discrimination and retaliation in Cleveland County.
From: Willie Green 3/29/2021 9:58 AM
To: Judge Don Bridges
Cleveland County is a “Crooked Place”!!! Commissioners Abusing Property Tax Collection Process to Discrimination and Retaliate Against Mr. Willie Green!!! Engineered by County Commissioners and Manager Brian Epley!!! They can do this to anybody they don’t like!!! Report, facts and obvious conclusions by Robert A. Williams
Judge Don Bridges,
I believe your exact words when you refused to allow my lawsuit against Mayor Anthony for his defaming comments about me was that you did not believe his comments “impeach him (Willie Green) in his trade or profession.”
Your decision to remove the judge initially assigned (Judge W. Todd Pomeroy) to the case of my civil complaint against Mayor Anthony and assigned yourself to the case, allowed you to help out a longtime colleague, by rushing to issue a Summary Judgment during the COVID-19 pandemic and when courts were near shut down this past October. Even before Mayor Anthony and Planning Director Walt Scharer’s depositions were taken and the Rule of Civil Procedures were followed, has disproven your belief that my business would not be “impeached.”
What your decision has done is only embolden both city and county public officials to continue their discriminatory and retaliation practices against me. Knowing they have you on the bench to block any opportunity for a fair hearing in our local court of law. Thus, the old saying “You can’t fight City Hall.”
The City of Shelby’s 2017 “Economic Development Strategic Plan,” stated that the three of the biggest “threats” listed, were that the City of Shelby is “Non-acceptance of change…,” “Lack of diversity…” and does not have “effective leadership in place to encourage and “capture” growth opportunities.” Those three threat assessments still hold true today, nothing has changed and will not change, unless we have people in our judicial system willing to follow the sworn oath they took and hold those public officials accountable for their actions, as they do a private citizen.
Again, my asking is for you as the presiding judge to allow my case against Mayor Anthony to proceed, first with depositions of the Mayor, the Planning Director, and other public officials involved to be taken, followed by a trial by jury. I look forward to your response.
Willie A. Green, Sr.
Rev. Dante’ Murphy writes:
From: Rev. Dante’ Murphy 3.29/2021 2:42 PM
To: Judge Bridges
In your capacity as an elected and public official we request under applicable law that you provide all records of any kind pertaining to your hijacking of this case and then dismissing it.
We also request under applicable law email addresses of all district and superior court judges in your district.
Please note that we are in hopes that you will quickly correct the error of your ways as a public official.
Rev. Dante’ Murphy
Other Comments so far made directly to Robert A. Williams:
1. Liz (Not her real name) calls and says “this is the best article that you have ever written.”
2. Jerry (Not his real name) sends an email that says “Great Article!”
Facts of the matter:
Judge Bridges, upon Mayor Stan Anthony’s “Motion for Summary Judgement,” Essentially a Motion to Dismiss the case without hearing any evidence, granted Anthony’s Motion based on Mr. Green’s “Complaint” not containing sufficient evidence to proceed to a trial. However, according to the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 8, all the “Complaint” has to contain is stated as follows:
Rule 8. General rules of pleadings.
(a) Claims for relief. – A pleading which sets forth a claim for relief, whether an original claim, counterclaim, crossclaim, or third-party claim shall contain
(1) A short and plain statement of the claim sufficiently particular to give the court and the parties notice of the transactions, occurrences, or series of transactions or occurrences, intended to be proved showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and
(2) A demand for judgment for the relief to which he deems himself entitled.
Not one word about evidence being required in the original complaint!!!
Therefore, NO evidence is required to be included in the original complaint. Producing evidence is NOT required in a lawsuit until much later in the lawsuit process. After discovery and depositions. At the actual TRIAL of the lawsuit is where evidence is produced. Judge Bridges’ Order to grant Summary Judgement and Dismiss Mr. Green’s lawsuit was a MISTAKE.
Now, Rule 60 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure allows Court Orders to be set aside because of Mistakes as described in Rule 60 as shown below.
(b) Mistakes; inadvertence; excusable neglect; newly discovered evidence; fraud, etc. – On motion and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party or his legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons:
(1) Mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) Newly discovered evidence which by due diligence could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) Fraud (whether heretofore denominated intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party;
(4) The judgment is void;
(5) The judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged, or a prior judgment upon which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no longer equitable that the judgment should have prospective application; or
(6) Any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment.
It appears that a Rule 60 Motion to set aside Judge Bridges’ Order for Summary Judgement (Dismissal) can be based on paragraphs (b)(1), (3) and (6) although just one such paragraph is all that is necessary. The Order to Dismiss can be set aside and Mr. Green’s fight to a trial by a jury of his peers can immediately proceed as if this Dismissal had never happened. Rule 60 also allows the Judge himself to set aside his original order that, in this case, is grossly unfair and a Mistake to begin with.
Our RECOMMENDATION is simple. We recommend that Judge Bridges set aside his mistaken order and allow Mr. Green’s lawsuit to proceed. Allow Mr. Green to have his day in court in accordance and actually produce his evidence in this matter. If Mr. Green convinces a Jury that Mayor Stan Anthony has violated his rights under the US Constitution, Federal and State laws, Then, Mayor Anthony (and the City of Shelby as that might apply) will have to pay the price as required by law. If the jury rules against Mr. Green, then Mayor Stan Anthony will be exonerated as he already claims to be innocent.
Either way, Justice Will Be Done by the rules that are supposed to apply to everyone and not some sleazy escape by a crummy “loophole” that is ill applied to suit apparent corruption in our judicial system. Truth will prevail and citizens can regain some measure of trust in our system of government.
Folks, I am offering a $100 reward to anybody that can come-up with a better way!!!