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School district lawsuit dismissed

A lawsuit filed by four local residents against the Pike County school district, elections superintendent Lynn Brandenburg and newly elected school board member Walter James ‘Jim’ Brooks has been dismissed by judge William Ison Monday, Dec. 17. The four plaintiffs, Robert E. Adams Jr., Patricia Beckham, Martha O’Neal and Betty Willis, have argued the county’s school district map should have been redrawn after the county received results from the 2010 census showing a significant demographic change. After calling the case, the judge stated that before addressing any evidence, certain preliminary matters needed to be addressed. Specifically, the defendant for the Pike County School System filed a motion for continuance. Attorney M. Michael Kendall stated the continuance was based on the fact that he had filed a motion to dismiss or in the alternative a motion for summary judgement and the defendants would like to be heard on the outstanding motions prior to proceeding to the hearing. It was noted the defendant’s attorney had filed a demand for a jury trial. Judge William Ison stated there were jurisdictional issues that needed to be addressed before moving forward. After considering further arguements presented by attorneys on behalf of their clients, Judge Ison denied the petitioners’ motion for default and dismissed the complaint because the complaint was not timely filed pursuant to OCGA 21-2-524. The judge indicated that his court does not have jurisdiction to consider the petitioners’ complaint.

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