COVER-UP PART II, The Unsigned Summons
By David Divelbiss
As a follow-up to my previous article Cover Up At City Hall?
I was told by others I should expect some retaliation from the city for the embarrassment I caused them. I'd say they were right.
On May 8th two Loudon County Sheriff's deputies arrived at my home to serve papers filed against me in General Sessions Court by the city attorney, M. Shannon Littleton.
I received a restraining order, a copy of the complaint/petition, and a summons to respond in 30 days or less. (In General Sessions Court response time is 15 days - a mistake by the city attorney.)
After faxing these documents to my attorney, I noticed another error: Mr Littleton forgot to have the court clerks sign the summons. (Leave the sheriff's deputies alone, guys. Their job was to serve Mr Littleton's paperwork - not proofread it.)
Fifteen days later, on May 23rd, I met Judge Russell for the first time. The hearing was not contentious. I testified under oath that I had destroy all of the personal information which the city recorder had wrongfully sent me (including - and especially - those social security numbers) of 68 people. My attorney was present, and did a fine job of speaking on my behalf.
When M. Shannon Littleton addressed the court, he withdrew all claims made against me in his May 8 filing, which included: ".....attorneys fees and administrative cost......any and all additional relief...." which the city may claim to.
I left the Justice Center without spending or owing a penny, and pleased with the job my own counsel had done.
In closing, I have two questions:
1. Was the real purpose of this hearing to find out if I was able and willing to defend myself?
2. Was the city just hoping I wouldn't show, so they could sock me with a big default judgment?