A lawsuit filed by Ashe County Commissioner Gerald Price against Sheriff James Williams and two of his deputies has been dismissed by a Federal Court Judge. Judge Richard L. Voorhees entered the Order dated July 17th in which the Court determined that it did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiffs claims, and therefore dismissed all claims. Mr. Price now has two options, according to the Ashe Sheriffs release: He can appeal the decision to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals within 30 days (by August 16); or, because the case was dismissed by lack of jurisdiction by the Federal Courts, the plaintiff has the option to file in State Court.
At issue was the repossession of Prices 2007 Toyota Camry, taken by deputes Oct. 26th of 2012. Prices suit named eight defendants and was seeking $7.5 million for alleged civil rights violations. Others named include four Watauga attorneys who were involved in the arbitration, Ashe County Sheriff James Williams along with deputies Jerry Lewis and Randy Lewis and Watauga Clerk of Court Diane Deal. The N.C. Attorney Generals office filed a motion last summer on behalf of Watauga County Clerk of Court Diane Deal to dismiss the federal suit filed against Deal in the matter, arguing that Price, who was representing himself in the case, served a summons in a way that failed to comply with federal rules of civil procedure. The motion cited the 11th amendment to the constitution and Deals absolute judicial immunity.
The Sheriff, and his deputies Jerry Lewis and Randy Lewis, have received a copy from the Clerk of Federal Court in Statesville depicting this dismissal.