City's case against Kervin/Taylor dismissed
An Elmore County circuit judge has dismissed the City of Tallassee's request for a declaratory judgment on the mayoral candidacies of Jeanna Kervin and Trey Taylor. Judge Sibley Reynolds made the decision on Thursday, Aug. 11 in Wetumpka.
The judgment means that both Kervin and Taylor will remain on the ballot for the upcoming Aug. 23 election.
"This court has no jurisdiction to entertain the declaratory judgment action as the application of Alabama Code section 17-16-44 stating that "No jurisdiction exist;" therefore, the motion to dismiss the claim is granted," Reynolds noted in the order.
City attorney John Smith argued for the court to hear the issue of "domicile" regarding the candidates.
"In order to establish a domicile; you have to abandon an old domicile, be present at a current domicile and have intent to remain at the current domicile," Smith stated.
The counsel for Kervin is Mike Segrest. Joe Scarborough represents Taylor.
"The law is crystal clear," said Segrest. "The law says the court has absolutely no jurisdiction to interfere with the election process. The order dismissed the lawsuit. It's over. There is no issue.
"This is to be resolved by the citizens of Tallassee, not a few councilman," Segrest added alluding to Darrell Wilson, Terrel Brown and David Stough, the three who voted in favor of bringing the case before a judge in a 3-2 council vote at a special called meeting on July 14.
"A few council members with a personal agenda cannot decide who our next mayor will be," Kervin concurred. "The city’s case was frivolous. They did not have standing and the court agreed."
Taylor, like Kervin, was pleased with the court's ruling.
"I want to thank Joe Scarborough and Mike Segrest who represented us with the utmost professionalism," Taylor said. "I’m very happy that it turned out the way that it did. This took up a lot of my time, and I’m eager to get back out on the campaign trails knocking on doors and meeting with the people of this town."
Kervin added that misconceptions about her candidacy can now be put to rest.
"I have had several citizens tell me they were told by my competitors I was not qualified. I feel vindicated. I hope those citizens will realize those candidates misrepresented the truth. I am glad the courts told the three council members and the city attorney, who supported the case, that they were out of line."
The defendant's filed a motion against the city under the Litigation Accountability Act for reimbursement of legal fees. That hearing is scheduled for Sept. 28 at 9:00 a.m.
Kervin said she will be dismissing that suit on her end.
"I have decided that there should be an immediate end to litigation and have instructed my attorneys that they should file a motion to dismiss the motion for relief under the Litigation Accountability Act, although it would likely be successful."
Next Tuesday's election hours will be from 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Wards 1, 2, 4 and the west side of 6 will vote at the National Guard Armory. Ward 3 will vote at the Community Center of God's Congregational Holiness Church. Wards 5, the east side of 6 and 7 will vote at the Tallassee Community Library.
1300 WTLS/106.5 FM will have election coverage beginning at 7:00 p.m. It will be It will be webcast on Tallassee Times TV: www.tallasseetv.com.
TALLASSEE MUNICIPAL ELECTION IMPORTANT DATES
Aug. 18 – Last day to apply for absentee ballot
Aug. 22 – Last day to return your hand-delivered
absentee ballot by the close of business (5:00 p.m.)
Aug. 23 – Last day to receive mailed absentee ballots (*Postmarked by Aug. 22 and received by noon)
Aug. 23 – Election Day (Poll Hours, 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.)
Aug. 30 – Canvass the Election - 10:00 a.m. Council Chambers
TALLASSEE MUNICIPAL ELECTION RUNOFF DATES
Sept. 6 – Absentee Voting Begins
Sept. 29 – Last day to apply for absentee ballot
Oct. 3 – Last day to return your hand-delivered absentee ballot by the close of business (5:00 p.m.)
Oct. 4 – Last day to receive mailed absentee ballots (*Postmarked by Oct. 3 and received by noon)
Oct. 4 – Runoff Election (Poll Hours, 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.)
Oct. 11 – Canvass the Runoff Election - 10:00 a.m. Council Chambers