Motion filed to dismiss appeal in Columbus lawsuit case

Motion filed to dismiss appeal in Columbus lawsuit case

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The legal fight between Muscogee County Marshal Greg Countryman, Municipal Court Clerk Vivian Creighton Bishop, and Columbus city leaders rages on.

On Tuesday, plaintiffs' attorney Chris Balch of Atlanta filed a motion asking the Georgia Supreme Court to dismiss the defendants' appeal for a lack of jurisdiction.

"It is without the authority to hear the appeal because the issues on appeal do not follow the exclusive jurisdiction to hear the case," stated Balch.

The issues pertain to the Superior Court's decision allowing the plaintiffs to move forward with the lawsuit against the mayor and city council members as well as other key city leaders in their individual capacity, prompting the defendants' appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court.

The lower court ruled the plaintiffs could not sue the defendants in their official capacity which the higher court upheld due to sovereign immunity - a legal protection against lawsuits for municipalities and its officials.

"Well, it doesn't matter to us which appellate court throws out their remaining few claims, but we believe the Georgia Supreme Court is the appropriate court to do that," said Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.

Balch said he believes the court of appeals is the appropriate court to hear the arguments.

The case originated about a year ago when Countryman and Bishop filed suit for what they called inadequate budget cuts for their departments.

Both sides are looking to the courts to make the ultimate decision.

Sheriff John Darr and Superior Court Clerk Linda Pierce also filed similar suits against Columbus city leaders, citing insufficient budgets for their
departments.

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