Case: Drumwright v. Cole

1:20-cv-00998 | U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina

Filed Date: Nov. 2, 2020

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Two consolidated federal district court cases in North Carolina alleged voter intimidation before the November 2020 elections. One was Drumright v. Cole, 1:20-cv-00998; the other was Allen v. City of Graham, 1:20-cv-00997. Both were filed on the same day by participants in the same event.On October 31, 2020, police dispersed an event held in front of the Graham, NC courthouse, using pepper spray. The event titled, the "I Am Change March to the Polls," was held on the last day of early voting an…

Two consolidated federal district court cases in North Carolina alleged voter intimidation before the November 2020 elections. One was Drumright v. Cole, 1:20-cv-00998; the other was Allen v. City of Graham, 1:20-cv-00997. Both were filed on the same day by participants in the same event.

On October 31, 2020, police dispersed an event held in front of the Graham, NC courthouse, using pepper spray. The event titled, the "I Am Change March to the Polls," was held on the last day of early voting and same-day voting registration. Participants marched from the Wayman Chapel AME Church to the Alamance County Courthouse. Once arriving at the north-side of the courthouse, event organizers began assembling a small stage, gave a speech about a local Confederate monument, and held a silent vigil for George Floyd who had died in police custody. At the top of the courthouse’s northern steps was a row of deputies from the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office. According to the event's participants, police began dispersing the event seconds after the silent vigil ended and without warning. This prevented the event’s planned march to local polling stations. Many attendees sought medical attention because of the pepper spray.

On November 2, 2020, participants from the dispersed event filed two separate complaints in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. Judge Catherine Eagles was assigned to both cases.

  • Plaintiffs in Drumwright v. Cole were represented by the ACLU of North Carolina and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Defendants included the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office and the Graham Police Department. The Drumwright plaintiffs pursued various federal claims including voter intimidation under 52 U.S.C. § 10307 (Voting Rights Act); first amendment suppression and excessive force under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; and conspiracy to deprive plaintiffs’ civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1985. Remedies sought included both injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment that defendants’ dispersion violated the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The Drumwright plaintiffs also sought damages (including punitive damages) as well as attorney’s fees and costs.
  • Plaintiffs from Allen v. Graham were represented by private counsel and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Defendants included the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office, City of Graham, and the Graham Police Department. The Allen plaintiffs also brought very similar claims under 52 U.S.C. § 10307 (Voting Rights Act), 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and 42 U.S.C. § 1985. Relief sought included injunctive and declaratory relief stating that the police’s actions were unlawful. The Allen plaintiffs also sought damages (including punitive damages) as well as attorneys’ fees and costs.
A month after filing, on December 4, 2020, before much more had happened, the Court consolidated the two cases, designating Allen as the lead.

On December 14, 2020, both the Drumwright and Allen plaintiffs filed amended complaints. Both complaints added new state law claims, including assault, battery, and violations of Article I, Sections 12 and 14 of the North Carolina Constitution which protects free speech and assembly. Both complaints also added additional plaintiffs who had participated in the event and additional defendants from the Graham Police Department and Alamance County Sheriff’s Office. The Drumwright plaintiffs added the City of Graham as a defendant.

On February 12, 2021, defendants from both the City of Graham and the Graham Police Department moved to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim and because of qualified immunity. The motion was directed at both Drumwright and Allen’s claims. Generally, defendants claimed that plaintiffs’ assertions were not specific enough to rise to an actionable claim. Further, they sought dismissal of claims under the North Carolina Constitution as plaintiffs have alternative remedies available.

On March 2, 2021, defendants from the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings. The motion was directed only at Drumwright’s claims. In the accompanying memorandum, these defendants presented similar arguments to those presented by Graham defendants the prior month.

On May 10, 2021, the Allen parties participated in mediation. According to the mediator’s report filed on May 21, 2021, the result was a settlement where “[o]nly [Allen] claims settled” and where Drumwright was “not mediated or settled.” The settlement provided that the parties would stipulate to the dismissal of all Allen claims with prejudice; that stipulation was filed June 25, 2021. We do not have the settlement documentation, which was not filed on the record. However, given that the settlement was effectuated by dismissal, it must not have included any court action or enforceability. Additionally, the mediator’s report stated that it included financial compensation.

The court issued an order addressing two motions on June 2, 2021. First, the court denied the Alamance County defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings. The motion was directed only at claims in Drumwright. Second, the court granted in part the Graham City defendants’ motion to dismiss. The motion had originally been directed at both Drumwright and Allen claims, but the Allen claims had settled in the meantime, mooting out the motion. Regarding the Drumwright claims, the court dismissed only the § 1983 constitutional claims against two defendants (the Graham Chief of Police and one other officer). The motion was otherwise denied. 2021 WL 2223772.

As of July 9, 2021, the remaining parties were conducting discovery with respect to the Drumwright part of the case; the Allen part was settled.

This case is ongoing.

Summary Authors

Eric Gripp (7/9/2021)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/18599646/parties/drumwright-v-cole/


Judge(s)

Auld, Patrick (North Carolina)

Eagles, Catherine Caldwell (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Aden, Leah C. (New York)

Chandran, Ashok (New York)

Dorosin, Mark (North Carolina)

Graunke, Kristi L. (North Carolina)

Haddix, Elizabeth (North Carolina)

Keith, Jason L (North Carolina)

Knight, Christopher A (Illinois)

Lewis, Morgan (California)

Judge(s)

Auld, Patrick (North Carolina)

Eagles, Catherine Caldwell (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Aden, Leah C. (New York)

Chandran, Ashok (New York)

Dorosin, Mark (North Carolina)

Graunke, Kristi L. (North Carolina)

Haddix, Elizabeth (North Carolina)

Keith, Jason L (North Carolina)

Knight, Christopher A (Illinois)

Lewis, Morgan (California)

Maffetore, Jaclyn A. (North Carolina)

Merle, Natasha C. (New York)

Nwachukwu, Jennifer (District of Columbia)

Phillips, Clarence William (New York)

Pipoly, Geoffrey M (Illinois)

Siegel, Daniel K. (North Carolina)

Spencer, Marianne E (District of Columbia)

Sumter, Geraldine (North Carolina)

Thatte, Anuja Diwakar (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Albright, Clyde Ballinger (North Carolina)

Banks, Adam P (North Carolina)

Biller, Anthony Joseph (North Carolina)

Flanagan, Patrick Houghton (North Carolina)

Gessner, Paul Gerard (North Carolina)

Hill, William L (North Carolina)

Lawrence, James R III (North Carolina)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Duncan, Thomas C (North Carolina)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

June 11, 2021 Docket

Docket [PACER]

Allen v. City of Graham

June 25, 2021 Docket
1

Complaint for Temporary Restraining Order and Emergency Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Drumwright v. Johnson

Nov. 2, 2020 Complaint
17

Order to Consolidate

Allen, Jr v. City of Graham

Dec. 4, 2020 Order/Opinion
20

First Amended Complaint

Allen, Jr. v. City of Graham

Dec. 14, 2020 Complaint
74

Amended Report of Mediator

Allen, Jr. v. Johnson

May 21, 2021 Pleading / Motion / Brief
27

Memorandum Opinion and Order

Allen, Jr v. City of Graham

2021 WL 2223772

June 2, 2021 Order/Opinion
80

Stipulation of Dismissal

Allen, Jr. v. City of Graham

June 25, 2021 Settlement Agreement

Resources

Title Description External URL

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/18599646/drumwright-v-cole/

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND EMERGENCY DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF Justice for the Next Generation et al against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0418-2923707.)(Related Case # 1:20-cv-613), filed by GREGORY B. DRUMWRIGHT, Justice for the Next Generation, Edith Ann Jones.(HADDIX, ELIZABETH) Modified on 11/3/2020 to correct event description. (Hicks, Samantha) (Entered: 11/02/2020)

Nov. 2, 2020 RECAP

Case ASSIGNED to JUDGE CATHERINE C. EAGLES and MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD. (Hicks, Samantha)

Nov. 3, 2020 PACER

CASE REFERRED to Mediation pursuant to Local Rule 83.9b of the Rules of Practice and Procedure of this Court. Please go to our website under Attorney Information for a list of mediators which must be served on all parties. (Hicks, Samantha)

Nov. 3, 2020 PACER

Case Assigned

Nov. 3, 2020 PACER

Case Referred to Mediation

Nov. 3, 2020 PACER
2

STANDARD ORDER for civil cases proceeding before JUDGE CATHERINE C. EAGLES. (Sanders, Marlene) (Entered: 11/04/2020)

Nov. 4, 2020 RECAP
3

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney DANIEL K. SIEGEL on behalf of Plaintiffs GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION (SIEGEL, DANIEL) (Entered: 11/09/2020)

Nov. 9, 2020 PACER
4

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney KRISTI L. GRAUNKE on behalf of Plaintiffs GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION (GRAUNKE, KRISTI) (Entered: 11/09/2020)

Nov. 9, 2020 PACER
5

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney JACLYN A. MAFFETORE on behalf of Plaintiffs GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION (MAFFETORE, JACLYN) (Entered: 11/09/2020)

Nov. 9, 2020 PACER
6

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney ELIZABETH HADDIX on behalf of Plaintiffs GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION (HADDIX, ELIZABETH) (Entered: 11/09/2020)

Nov. 9, 2020 PACER
7

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney MARK DOROSIN on behalf of Plaintiffs GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION (DOROSIN, MARK) (Entered: 11/09/2020)

Nov. 9, 2020 PACER
8

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney WILLIAM L. HILL on behalf of Defendant TERRY JOHNSON (HILL, WILLIAM) (Entered: 11/16/2020)

Nov. 16, 2020 PACER
9

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney PATRICK HOUGHTON FLANAGAN on behalf of Defendant TERRY JOHNSON (FLANAGAN, PATRICK) (Entered: 11/18/2020)

Nov. 18, 2020 PACER
10

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney ANTHONY JOSEPH BILLER on behalf of Defendant MARY KRISTY COLE (BILLER, ANTHONY) (Entered: 11/20/2020)

Nov. 20, 2020 PACER
11

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney CLYDE BALLINGER ALBRIGHT on behalf of Defendant TERRY JOHNSON (ALBRIGHT, CLYDE) (Entered: 11/30/2020)

Nov. 30, 2020 PACER
12

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney PAUL GERARD GESSNER on behalf of Defendant TERRY JOHNSON (GESSNER, PAUL) (Entered: 11/30/2020)

Nov. 30, 2020 PACER
13

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, by MARY KRISTY COLE, TERRY JOHNSON. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(FLANAGAN, PATRICK) (Entered: 11/30/2020)

Nov. 30, 2020 PACER

Motions Referred: RE: 13 Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, to MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD (Sanders, Marlene)

Nov. 30, 2020 PACER

Motions Referred

Nov. 30, 2020 PACER
14

Consent MOTION to Consolidate Cases. Case to be consolidated with 1:20-cv-00997 by MARY KRISTY COLE, TERRY JOHNSON. Response to Motion due by 12/22/2020 (FLANAGAN, PATRICK) (Entered: 12/01/2020)

Dec. 1, 2020 PACER
15

BRIEF re 14 Consent MOTION to Consolidate Cases. Case to be consolidated with 1:20-cv-00997 by Defendants MARY KRISTY COLE, TERRY JOHNSON filed by MARY KRISTY COLE, TERRY JOHNSON. (FLANAGAN, PATRICK) (Entered: 12/01/2020)

Dec. 1, 2020 RECAP

TEXT ORDER granting 13 Consent Motion for Extension of Time. TERRY JOHNSON and MARY KRISTY COLE shall answer or otherwise respond by 01/18/2021. Issued by MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD on 12/02/2020. (AULD, L.)

Dec. 2, 2020 PACER
16

Corrected document re 15 Brief. (FLANAGAN, PATRICK) (Entered: 12/02/2020)

Dec. 2, 2020 PACER

Motions Submitted: 14 Consent MOTION to Consolidate Cases. Case to be consolidated with 1:20-cv-00997 to JUDGE CATHERINE C. EAGLES. (Sanders, Marlene)

Dec. 2, 2020 PACER

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to Answer

Dec. 2, 2020 PACER

Motions Submitted

Dec. 2, 2020 PACER
17

ORDER that the motions are GRANTED and these cases are consolidated for all pre-trial proceedings, and, subject to review closer to trial, for trial. Allen v. City, 20cv997, is designated as the lead case. Henceforth all pleadings, motions, briefs, and other allowable filings shall be filed in that case only. Signed by JUDGE CATHERINE C. EAGLES on 12/04/2020. Related Case (L) 1:20CV997.(Taylor, Abby) (Entered: 12/04/2020)

Dec. 4, 2020 RECAP
18

NOTICE of Special Appearance by attorney JENNIFER N. NWACHUKWU on behalf of Plaintiffs GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION ( Filing fee $ 25 receipt number 0418-2947284.) (NWACHUKWU, JENNIFER) (Entered: 12/10/2020)

Dec. 10, 2020 PACER
19

First AMENDED COMPLAINT Justice 4 the Next Generation et al against defendant All Defendants, filed by GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, EDITH ANN JONES.(HADDIX, ELIZABETH) (Entered: 12/11/2020)

Dec. 11, 2020 PACER
20

First AMENDED COMPLAINT Justice 4 the Next Generation et al against defendant All Defendants, filed by GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, FAITH COOK, QUENCLYN ELLISON, ME.Associated Cases: 1:20-cv-00997-CCE-LPA, 1:20-cv-00998-CCE-LPA(HADDIX, ELIZABETH) (Entered: 12/14/2020)

Dec. 14, 2020 RECAP
21

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney ELIZABETH HADDIX on behalf of Plaintiff JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION Associated Cases: 1:20-cv-00997-CCE-LPA, 1:20-cv-00998-CCE-LPA(HADDIX, ELIZABETH) (Entered: 01/20/2021)

Jan. 20, 2021 PACER
22

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney KRISTI L. GRAUNKE on behalf of Plaintiffs ALAMANCE ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE, ASHLEY REED BATTEN, FAITH COOK, GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, QUENCLYN ELLISON, AVERY HARVEY, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, MELANIE MITCHELL, JANET NESBITT, EDITH WARD, ERNESTINE LEWIS WARD Associated Cases: 1:20-cv-00998-CCE-LPA, 1:20-cv-00997-CCE-LPA(GRAUNKE, KRISTI) (Entered: 01/21/2021)

Jan. 21, 2021 PACER
23

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney JACLYN A. MAFFETORE on behalf of Plaintiffs ALAMANCE ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE, ASHLEY REED BATTEN, FAITH COOK, GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, QUENCLYN ELLISON, AVERY HARVEY, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, MELANIE MITCHELL, JANET NESBITT, EDITH WARD, ERNESTINE LEWIS WARD Associated Cases: 1:20-cv-00997-CCE-LPA, 1:20-cv-00998-CCE-LPA(MAFFETORE, JACLYN) (Entered: 01/21/2021)

Jan. 21, 2021 PACER
24

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney DANIEL K. SIEGEL on behalf of Plaintiffs ALAMANCE ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE, ASHLEY REED BATTEN, FAITH COOK, GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, QUENCLYN ELLISON, AVERY HARVEY, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, MELANIE MITCHELL, JANET NESBITT, EDITH WARD, ERNESTINE LEWIS WARD Associated Cases: 1:20-cv-00997-CCE-LPA, 1:20-cv-00998-CCE-LPA(SIEGEL, DANIEL) (Entered: 01/21/2021)

Jan. 21, 2021 PACER
25

ORDER granting (63) Motion to Appoint Guardian ad Litem ad Litem. J.A., by and through her guardian Melanie Mitchell; B.A., by and through her guardian Melanie Mitchell in case 1:20-cv-00997-CCE-LPA. Signed by JUDGE CATHERINE C. EAGLES on 03/29/2021. Associated Cases: 1:20-cv-00997-CCE-LPA, 1:20-cv-00998-CCE-LPA(Taylor, Abby) (Entered: 03/29/2021)

March 29, 2021 PACER
26

ORDER granting (64) Motion to Appoint Guardian ad Litem ad Litem, that Quenclyn Ellison is hereby appointed Guardian ad Litem to act on behalf of M.E. and Z.P. in prosecuting this action in case 1:20-cv-00997-CCE-LPA. Signed by JUDGE CATHERINE C. EAGLES on 03/29/2021. Associated Cases: 1:20-cv-00997-CCE-LPA, 1:20-cv-00998-CCE-LPA(Taylor, Abby) (Entered: 03/29/2021)

March 29, 2021 PACER
27

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER signed by JUDGE CATHERINE C. EAGLES on 06/02/2021. The City defendants' motion for leave to exceed word limitation, Doc. 47, is GRANTED. The City defendants' motion to dismiss, Doc. 45, is GRANTED in part and the ยง 1983 claims against Chief Cole, Lt. Velez, and Officer Franks in their official capacities for violating the plaintiffs First and Fourth Amendment rights, Doc. 25 at 17582, are DISMISSED. The ยง 1983 claims against all other defendants will proceed, and the City defendants' motion to dismiss is otherwise DENIED as to the Drumwright complaint. The City's motion is HELD IN ABEYANCE to the extent it is directed at the Allen complaint, Doc. 24 . The County defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings, Doc. 52, is DENIED. Associated Cases: 1:20-cv-00997-CCE-LPA, 1:20-cv-00998-CCE-LPA(Taylor, Abby) (Entered: 06/02/2021)

June 2, 2021 RECAP
28

REVISED STANDARD ORDER for civil cases proceeding before JUDGE CATHERINE C. EAGLES.(Winchester, Robin) (Entered: 06/09/2021)

June 9, 2021 RECAP
29

NOTICE of Initial Pretrial Conference Hearing: Initial Pretrial Conference Hearing set for 7/26/2021 09:30 AM in Greensboro Courtroom #1A before MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD. (Garrett, Kim) (Entered: 06/11/2021)

June 11, 2021 PACER
30

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney SCOTT D. MACLATCHIE on behalf of Defendants MARY KRISTINE COLE, JONATHAN FRANKS, JOAQUIN VELEZ (MACLATCHIE, SCOTT) (Entered: 07/09/2021)

July 9, 2021 PACER
31

L.R. 5.5 Report-Joint filed by all parties by ALAMANCE ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE, ASHLEY REED BATTEN, FAITH COOK, GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, QUENCLYN ELLISON, AVERY HARVEY, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, MELANIE MITCHELL, JANET NESBITT, EDITH WARD, ERNESTINE LEWIS WARD.(MAFFETORE, JACLYN) (Entered: 07/22/2021)

July 22, 2021 PACER
32

Rule 26(f) Report (Individual). by ALAMANCE ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE, ASHLEY REED BATTEN, FAITH COOK, GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, QUENCLYN ELLISON, AVERY HARVEY, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, MELANIE MITCHELL, JANET NESBITT, EDITH WARD, ERNESTINE LEWIS WARD.(MAFFETORE, JACLYN) (Entered: 07/22/2021)

July 22, 2021 PACER
33

Individual Rule 26(f) REPORT by Defendants ALAMANCE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES JOHN AND JANE DOES #1 THROUGH #20, CITY OF GRAHAM, MARY KRISTINE COLE, JONATHAN FRANKS, TERRY JOHNSON, JOAQUIN VELEZ. (BILLER, ANTHONY) Modified on 7/23/2021 to correct event used (Garrett, Kim). (Entered: 07/22/2021)

July 22, 2021 PACER

Motions Referred: RE: 33 Rule 26(f) Report (Individual)., 32 Rule 26(f) Report (Individual)., 31 L.R. 5.5 Report-Joint filed by all parties, to MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD (Garrett, Kim)

July 23, 2021 PACER

TEXT ORDER adopting 31 Local Rule 5.5 Report. Issued by MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD on 07/23/2021. (AULD, L.)

July 23, 2021 PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings held before MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD: Initial Pretrial Conference held on 7/26/2021. Attorney Elizabeth Haddix and Jaclyn Maffetore present for Plaintiffs. Attorney Anthony Biller present for Defendants Mary Kristin Cole, Jonathan Franks and Attorney Paul Gessner present for Defendant Terry Johnson. Matter taken under advisement. Proceedings recorded. (Garrett, Kim)

July 26, 2021 PACER

Initial Pretrial Conference

July 26, 2021 PACER
34

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney ADAM P. BANKS on behalf of Defendants CITY OF GRAHAM, MARY KRISTINE COLE, JONATHAN FRANKS, JOAQUIN VELEZ (BANKS, ADAM) (Entered: 08/01/2021)

Aug. 1, 2021 PACER
35

JOINT STIPULATION regarding initial disclosures filed by all parties. Est. Trial Days: 15. (HADDIX, ELIZABETH) (Entered: 08/10/2021)

Aug. 10, 2021 PACER

TEXT ORDER terminating 33 Joint Rule 26(f) Report and adopting 32 Plaintiffs' Rule 26(f) Report with the following modifications: (1) the parties shall complete discovery by 07/25/2022; (2) the parties shall file any dispositive motions by 08/24/2022; (3) the parties must obtain leave of the Court to serve any supplemental expert reports beyond the deadlines established in Paragraph 2 of 32 Plaintiffs' Rule 26(f) Report and/or to take expert discovery beyond the discovery deadline; (4) Defendants may serve up to 10 common interrogatories, requests for admission, and requests for production on Plaintiffs (to be answered individually by each Plaintiff), as well as up to five additional interrogatories, requests for admission, and requests for production (common, overlapping, or entirely distinct) on each Plaintiff; (5) Plaintiffs may serve up to 10 common interrogatories, requests for admission, and requests for production on Defendants (to be answered individually by each Defendant), as well as up to five additional interrogatories, requests for admission, and requests for production (common, overlapping, or entirely distinct) on each Defendant; and (6) all counsel of record shall appear for a pretrial conference pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(a)(1), (2), and (3), and (c)(2)(A), (F), (G), (K), (L), and (P) at 10:30 a.m. on 10/25/2021 in Courtroom 1A of the L. Richardson Preyer United States Courthouse in Greensboro, North Carolina. Issued by MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD on 08/25/2021. (AULD, L.)

Aug. 25, 2021 PACER

Set Hearings: Initial Pretrial Conference set for 10/25/2021 10:30 AM in Greensboro Courtroom #1A before MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD. (Garrett, Kim)

Aug. 25, 2021 PACER

Set/Reset Scheduling Order Deadlines: Discovery is that designated in LR 26.1(a) as: Exceptional. The parties agree to Tom Duncan as mediator. Plaintiffs' Amended Pleadings due by 11/1/2021. Defendants' Amended Pleadings due by 11/1/2021. Discovery due by 7/25/2022. Dispositive Motions due by 8/24/2022. Joinder of Parties for Plaintiffs due by 11/1/2021. Joinder of Parties for Defendants due by 11/1/2021. The parties do not consent to have this case referred to a Magistrate Judge. Trial is expected to take approximately 20 days. Jury trial has been demanded. (Taylor, Abby)

Aug. 25, 2021 PACER
36

JOINT MOTIONfor Consent Protective Order by ALAMANCE ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE, ASHLEY REED BATTEN, FAITH COOK, GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, QUENCLYN ELLISON, AVERY HARVEY, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, MELANIE MITCHELL, JANET NESBITT, EDITH WARD, ERNESTINE LEWIS WARD. (HADDIX, ELIZABETH) (Entered: 08/25/2021)

Aug. 25, 2021 PACER

Order on Rule 26f Report - Individual AND Order on Rule 26f Report - Individual

Aug. 25, 2021 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings

Aug. 25, 2021 PACER

Set/Reset Scheduling Order Deadlines

Aug. 25, 2021 PACER

MEDIATION SCHEDULING ORDER; Mediation due by 5/31/2022. (Bond, Melisa)

Aug. 26, 2021 PACER
37

ORDER Appointing THOMAS C. DUNCAN, as the Mediator pursuant to LR 83.9d(a). Signed by John S. Brubaker, Clerk of Court. (Bond, Melisa) (Entered: 08/26/2021)

Aug. 26, 2021 PACER

Mediation Scheduling Order

Aug. 26, 2021 PACER

Motions Referred: RE: 36 JOINT MOTIONfor Consent Protective Order, to MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD (Winchester, Robin)

Aug. 31, 2021 PACER

Motions Referred

Aug. 31, 2021 PACER
38

CONSENT PROTECTIVE ORDER granting 36 Joint Motion as set out herein signed by MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD on 9/2/2021. (Hicks, Samantha) (Entered: 09/02/2021)

Sept. 2, 2021 PACER

TEXT ORDER clarifying 28 Consent Protective Order as follows: notwithstanding the language of Paragraph 17, nothing in 28 Consent Protective Order authorizes (much less requires) the filing of a motion to seal any material presented during a hearing simply because a party has designated that material as confidential under 28 Consent Protective Order; to the contrary, before a party may move for such sealing, that party must have a good-faith basis that pertinent legal authority supports sealing under the specific facts and circumstances presented (including the nature of the hearing). Issued by MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD on 09/03/2021. (AULD, L.)

Sept. 3, 2021 PACER

Order

Sept. 3, 2021 PACER
39

NOTICE of Special Appearance by attorney ALLISON JOELLE HARVILL on behalf of Defendants CITY OF GRAHAM, MARY KRISTINE COLE, JONATHAN FRANKS, JOAQUIN VELEZ ( Filing fee $ 25 receipt number 0418-3145025.) (HARVILL, ALLISON) (Entered: 10/01/2021)

Oct. 1, 2021 PACER
40

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney CHRISTIAN FERLAN on behalf of Defendants MARY KRISTINE COLE, JONATHAN FRANKS, JOAQUIN VELEZ (FERLAN, CHRISTIAN) (Entered: 10/07/2021)

Oct. 7, 2021 PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings held before MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD: Pretrial Conference held on 10/25/2021. Parties advised that the Court will consider the appropriate next step and enter a Text Order accordingly. (Attorney(s) Elizabeth Haddix and Jaclyn Maffetore appeared on behalf of plaintiffs GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, et al.; Attorney(s) Anthony Biller, Christian Ferlan, and Paul Gessner appeared on behalf of defendants MARY KRISTINE COLE, et al.; Proceedings Recorded) (Kemp, Donita)

Oct. 25, 2021 PACER

Initial Pretrial Conference

Oct. 25, 2021 PACER
41

NOTICE of Special Appearance by attorney GEOFFREY M. PIPOLY on behalf of Plaintiffs ALAMANCE ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE, ASHLEY REED BATTEN, FAITH COOK, GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, QUENCLYN ELLISON, AVERY HARVEY, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, MELANIE MITCHELL, JANET NESBITT, EDITH WARD, ERNESTINE LEWIS WARD ( Filing fee $ 25 receipt number 0418-3159902.) (PIPOLY, GEOFFREY) (Entered: 10/26/2021)

Oct. 26, 2021 PACER
42

NOTICE of Special Appearance by attorney CHRISTOPHER A. KNIGHT on behalf of Plaintiffs ALAMANCE ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE, ASHLEY REED BATTEN, FAITH COOK, GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, QUENCLYN ELLISON, AVERY HARVEY, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, MELANIE MITCHELL, JANET NESBITT, EDITH WARD, ERNESTINE LEWIS WARD ( Filing fee $ 25 receipt number 0418-3160059.) (KNIGHT, CHRISTOPHER) (Entered: 10/26/2021)

Oct. 26, 2021 PACER
43

NOTICE by ALAMANCE ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE, ASHLEY REED BATTEN, FAITH COOK, GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, QUENCLYN ELLISON, AVERY HARVEY, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, MELANIE MITCHELL, JANET NESBITT, EDITH WARD, ERNESTINE LEWIS WARD Regarding October 25, 2021 Hearing (KNIGHT, CHRISTOPHER) (Entered: 10/26/2021)

Oct. 26, 2021 PACER
44

NOTICE by ALAMANCE ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE, ASHLEY REED BATTEN, FAITH COOK, GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, AVERY HARVEY, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, MELANIE MITCHELL, JANET NESBITT, EDITH WARD, ERNESTINE LEWIS WARD Re: October 25th Hearing (SIEGEL, DANIEL) (Entered: 10/26/2021)

Oct. 26, 2021 PACER
45

NOTICE by ALAMANCE ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE, ASHLEY REED BATTEN, FAITH COOK, GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, QUENCLYN ELLISON, AVERY HARVEY, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, MELANIE MITCHELL, JANET NESBITT, EDITH WARD, ERNESTINE LEWIS WARD RE: October 25th Hearing (NWACHUKWU, JENNIFER) (Entered: 10/26/2021)

Oct. 26, 2021 PACER
46

MOTION for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint by ALAMANCE ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE, ASHLEY REED BATTEN, FAITH COOK, GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, QUENCLYN ELLISON, AVERY HARVEY, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, MELANIE MITCHELL, JANET NESBITT, EDITH WARD, ERNESTINE LEWIS WARD. Response to Motion due by 11/22/2021 (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Second Amended Complaint, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(KNIGHT, CHRISTOPHER) (Entered: 11/01/2021)

Nov. 1, 2021 PACER

TEXT ORDER (A) admonishing Daniel K. Siegel, Kristi L. Graunke, and Jennifer N. Nwachukwu, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(f)(1)(A), for their failure to attend the pretrial conference on 10/25/2021, as directed in the Text Order dated 08/25/2021; (B) requiring Jason L. Keith, Mark Dorosin, Adam P. Banks, Allison J. Harvill, Clyde Ballinger Albright, Patrick Houghton Flanagan, Scott D. MacLatchie, and William L. Hill to show cause in writing, on or before 11/18/2021, why the Court should not sanction them under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(f)(1)(A), for their failure to attend the pretrial conference on 10/25/2021, as directed in the Text Order dated 08/25/2021; (C) setting a pretrial conference, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(a)(1), (2), and (3), and (c)(2)(A), (B), (F), (G), (K), (L), and (P), at 10:30 a.m. on 12/13/2021, in Courtroom 1A of the L. Richardson Preyer United States Courthouse in Greensboro, North Carolina, which all counsel of record must attend in person, unless they have obtained leave of court excusing them from such attendance (or permitting them to appear by video-teleconference or telephone); and (D) requiring any counsel of record seeking leave of court excusing their attendance at the pretrial conference on 12/13/2021 (or permitting their attendance by video-teleconference or telephone) to file a motion seeking such leave by 11/29/2021. This case has gotten off to a rough start. Defendants filed motions seeking dismissal/judgment on the pleadings which, in 27 Order, the Court (per United States District Judge Catherine C. Eagles) found sorely lacking in a number of respects. During the pendency of those motions, Plaintiffs sought expedited discovery, which -- in an order appearing at Docket Entry 75 in Case Number 1:20CV997 (with which this case then was consolidated) -- the Court (per the issuing Magistrate Judge) found grossly overbroad and unwarranted. Certain counsel for the parties thereafter appeared for the initial pretrial conference and declined to budge from their respective positions regarding limits on the volume of discovery, with (A) Plaintiffs maintaining that the Court should permit the two entity Defendants and four individual Defendants, in defending against 50 pages of allegations asserting seven different claims on behalf of fifteen different Plaintiffs, to serve a total of up to only 35 different interrogatories and requests for admission, and (B) Defendants maintaining that the Court should permit them to serve a total of up to 1,800 different interrogatories and requests for admission. In light of that emerging pattern of over-reach and intransigence, upon issuing the scheduling order (via Text Order dated 08/25/2021), the Court (per the issuing Magistrate Judge) ordered that "all counsel of record shall appear for a pretrial conference pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(a)(1), (2), and (3), and (c)(2)(A), (F), (G), (K), (L), and (P) at 10:30 a.m. on 10/25/2021 in Courtroom 1A of the L. Richardson Preyer United States Courthouse in Greensboro, North Carolina." The Docket reflects service of that Text Order on all then-counsel of record, i.e., Siegel, Graunke, Nwachukwu, Keith, Dorosin, Banks, Albright, Flanagan, MacLatchie, Hill, Elizabeth Haddix, Jaclyn A. Maffetore, Anthony Joseph Biller, and Paul Gessner. After the entry of that Text Order, but before the pretrial conference date of 10/25/2021, Harvill filed 39 Notice of Special Appearance and Christian Ferlan filed 40 Notice of Appearance, and thereby became bound to comply with that Text Order. Despite the clear and unequivocal (above-quoted) language of the Text Order dated 08/25/2021, only Haddix, Maffetore, Biller, Gessner, and Ferlan appeared as directed at the pretrial conference on 10/25/2021. Haddix stated that she would act as the primary speaker for Plaintiffs and, when asked about the failure of five of her co-counsel to appear, suggested (1) that the Court should question Defendants' counsel about the failure of six of their co-counsel to appear, (2) that she and her non-appearing co-counsel focused on other parts of the Text Order (which totaled only 18 lines), (3) that non-appearing co-counsel had other more pressing obligations, and (4) that (due to expense and logistical considerations) the Court reasonably could not expect all counsel of record to appear at pretrial conferences (or any other proceedings). Maffetore struck a more contrite tone, as did Biller (speaking on behalf of Defendants), but neither of them offered any more satisfactory explanation for the absence of their co-counsel. The next day, Siegel and Graunke filed 44 Notice and Nwachukwu filed 45 Notice, "to apologize" for not appearing at the pretrial conference. In 44 Notice, Siegel and Graunke expressed "regret that they did not understand th[e Text O]rder setting [the] conference as requiring in-person attendance of all counsel" and, in 45 Notice, Nwachukwu reported "not in good faith interpret[ing] th[ T]ext [O]rder as requiring [Nwachukwu's] physical, in-person appearance." However, neither 44 Notice nor 45 Notice explains how Siegel, Graunke, and Nwachukwu misconstrued the words "all counsel of record shall appear" to exempt them from appearing at the pretrial conference on 10/25/2021. Moreover, although both 44 Notice and 45 Notice refer specifically to a misunderstanding as to the need to appear "in-person," the record does not reflect (and 44 Notice and 45 Notice do not contend) that Siegel, Graunke, or Nwachukwu ever attempted to appear at the pretrial conference on 10/25/2021 through some means other than in-person. "In any action, the [C]ourt may order the attorneys... to appear for one or more pretrial conferences...." Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(a). Nothing in that Rule or its commentary suggests that, when parties elect to enlist multiple attorneys, the Court may only order some of the attorneys of record to appear at pretrial conferences -- and for good reason. As the Court explained on the record at the pretrial conference on 10/25/2021, when multiple attorneys participate in litigation, the absence of some of the attorneys from a pretrial conference can frustrate the objectives of the pretrial conference, e.g., determining who did what to whom and/or who will do what and when. Put more elegantly: "Rule 16 serves an important role as a judicial checkpoint in litigation. Under the rule, the court may schedule a case management conference to set expectations.... In this role, a Rule 16 conference functions as a judicial bulwark to prevent discovery from running amok and avert other wasteful procedural maneuvers. This is particularly the case when the court must confront litigants whose counsel have been unable to engage in a meaningful 26(f) conference or are otherwise at odds on discovery issues." Philip Favro, Navigating the Discovery Chess Match through Effective Case Management, 53 Akron L. Rev. 31, 43 (2019) (internal footnotes and quotation marks omitted). Counsel absent from such pretrial conferences do not get the same sense of the Court's "expectations," thereby undermining the Court's ability to "prevent discovery from running amok and [to] avert other wasteful procedural maneuvers." Moreover, as another court has explained (using the words of the Chief Justice): "The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure impose an obligation on 'judges and lawyers to work cooperatively in controlling the expense and time demands of litigation.' When litigants fall short of this obligation, 'a well-timed scowl from a trial judge can go a long way in moving things along crisply.'" Lynx Sys. Developers, Inc. v. Zebra Enter. Sols. Corp., Civ. No. 15-12297, 2018 WL 3580294, at *2 (D. Mass. July 25, 2018) (unpublished) (internal citation omitted) (quoting Chief Justice John Roberts, 2015 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary at 6, Supreme Court of the United States (2015)). The issuing Magistrate Judge has no illusions of grandeur about the efficacy of any scowls that may or may not have come from the bench on 10/25/2021, but the point remains that counsel of record who did not attend that conference likely did not get the same appreciation for the Court's views about how discovery should proceed as did those counsel of record who did attend the conference. For that very reason, Rule 16 "express[es] a preference for a face-to-face encounter to enhance communication between the judge and lawyers." Roberts, 2015 Year-End Report at 7. Against this backdrop, the Court must determine what to do about the failure of Siegel, Graunke, Nwachukwu, Keith, Dorosin, Banks, Harvill, Albright, Flanagan, MacLatchie, and Hill to appear as directed at the pretrial conference on 10/25/2021. By rule, "on its own, the [C]ourt may issue any just orders, including those authorized by [Federal] Rule [of Civil Procedure] 37(b)(2)(A)(ii)-(vii), if... [an] attorney... fails to appear at a scheduling or other pretrial conference... [or] fails to obey a scheduling or other pretrial order," Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(f)(1). By proactively filing 44 Notice and 45 Notice, Siegel, Graunke, and Nwachukwu have had a full and fair opportunity to be heard on these matters. Notwithstanding the unsatisfactory nature of their explanations for their failure to follow a clear command from the Court, in light of their apology, the Court concludes that the admonishment effected herein suffices. Because they have not yet been heard on the subject of their absence from the pretrial conference on 10/25/2021, the Court has set a deadline for Keith, Dorosin, Banks, Harvill, Albright, Flanagan, MacLatchie, and Hill to address that matter and will defer any decision as to sanctions until that deadline has passed. Finally, because (at the pretrial conference on 10/25/2021) Haddix and Biller acknowledged the existence of percolating discovery disputes between the parties, the Court has set another pretrial conference with clear ground rules about attorney attendance, as well as requests for exemption from (or alternatives to in-person) attendance. Issued by MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD on 11/11/2021. (AULD, L.)

Nov. 11, 2021 PACER
47

MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney MARK DOROSIN by on behalf of ALAMANCE ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE, ASHLEY REED BATTEN, FAITH COOK, GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, QUENCLYN ELLISON, AVERY HARVEY, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, MELANIE MITCHELL, JANET NESBITT, EDITH WARD, ERNESTINE LEWIS WARD. (DOROSIN, MARK) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

Nov. 12, 2021 PACER

Order

Nov. 12, 2021 PACER
48

NOTICE by TERRY JOHNSON Regarding Text Order of November 11, 2021 (HILL, WILLIAM) (Entered: 11/15/2021)

Nov. 15, 2021 PACER
49

RESPONSE by Defendants MARY KRISTINE COLE, JONATHAN FRANKS, JOAQUIN VELEZ re Text Order, to Show Cause Re Sanctions. (MACLATCHIE, SCOTT) (Entered: 11/15/2021)

Nov. 15, 2021 RECAP
50

RESPONSE TO ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE filed by GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT. (KEITH, JASON) Modified on 11/16/2021 to eliminate reply deadline. (Taylor, Abby). (Entered: 11/15/2021)

Nov. 15, 2021 PACER
51

RESPONSE by Defendant TERRY JOHNSON re: Order to Show Cause re Sanctions. (FLANAGAN, PATRICK) (Entered: 11/16/2021)

Nov. 16, 2021 RECAP
52

RESPONSE re Text Order To Show Cause filed by CITY OF GRAHAM, MARY KRISTINE COLE, JONATHAN FRANKS, JOAQUIN VELEZ. (BANKS, ADAM) (Entered: 11/16/2021)

Nov. 16, 2021 PACER
53

NOTICE -RESPONSE by TERRY JOHNSON RE Text Order of November 11, 2021 (ALBRIGHT, CLYDE) (Entered: 11/16/2021)

Nov. 16, 2021 PACER
54

MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney/RESPONSE Regarding Text Order of November 11, 2021 and Motion to Withdraw as Attorney filed by CITY OF GRAHAM, MARY KRISTINE COLE, JONATHAN FRANKS, JOAQUIN VELEZ. (HARVILL, ALLISON) Modified on 11/17/2021 to correct event and docket text. (Taylor, Abby). (Entered: 11/16/2021)

Nov. 16, 2021 PACER
55

RESPONSE to Order to Show Cause filed by ALAMANCE ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE, ASHLEY REED BATTEN, FAITH COOK, GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, QUENCLYN ELLISON, AVERY HARVEY, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, MELANIE MITCHELL, JANET NESBITT, EDITH WARD, ERNESTINE LEWIS WARD. (DOROSIN, MARK) Modified on 11/17/2021 to eliminate reply deadline. (Taylor, Abby). (Entered: 11/16/2021)

Nov. 16, 2021 PACER

Motions Referred: RE: 47 MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney MARK DOROSIN, to MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD (Winchester, Robin)

Nov. 17, 2021 PACER

TEXT ORDER granting 47 Motion to Withdraw as Counsel of Record and 54 Motion to Withdraw as Counsel of Record. Attorney MARK DOROSIN is terminated as counsel of record for Plaintiffs. Further, in light of the representations in 54 Motion and 55 Response, the Court deems no action warranted as to Attorney Dorosin's absence from the pretrial conference held on 10/25/2021. The issuing Magistrate Judge wishes Mr. Dorosin well in his new career endeavors. Issued by MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD on 11/17/2021. (AULD, L.)

Nov. 17, 2021 PACER
56

MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney CHRISTOPHER A. KNIGHT by on behalf of ALAMANCE ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE, ASHLEY REED BATTEN, FAITH COOK, GREGORY DRUMWRIGHT, QUENCLYN ELLISON, AVERY HARVEY, EDITH ANN JONES, JUSTICE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION, MELANIE MITCHELL, JANET NESBITT, EDITH WARD, ERNESTINE LEWIS WARD. Responses due by 12/1/2021 (KNIGHT, CHRISTOPHER) (Entered: 11/17/2021)

Nov. 17, 2021 PACER

TEXT ORDER granting 56 Motion to Withdraw as Counsel. Attorney CHRISTOPHER A. KNIGHT is terminated as counsel of record for Plaintiffs. Issued by MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD on 11/17/2021. (AULD, L.)

Nov. 17, 2021 PACER

***Attorney ALLISON JOELLE HARVILL is terminated as counsel of record for Defendants City of Graham, Mary Kristine Cole, Joaquin Velez, and Jonathan Franks. (AULD, L.)

Nov. 17, 2021 PACER

TEXT ORDER concluding that, in light of the representations in 48 Notice, no action is warranted as to Attorney William L. Hill's absence from the pretrial conference held on 10/25/2021. The issuing Magistrate Judge extends best wishes that Attorney Hill has returned or will soon return to full health. Issued by MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD on 11/17/2021. (AULD, L.)

Nov. 17, 2021 PACER

TEXT ORDER (A) construing 53 Notice as a motion to withdraw as counsel of record for Defendants Terry Johnson and Cliff Parker; (B) granting such relief and terminating Attorney Albright as counsel of record for Defendants Johnson and Parker; and (C) concluding that, in light of the representations in 53 Notice, no action is warranted as to Attorney Albright's absence from the pretrial conference held on 10/25/2021. The issuing Magistrate Judge extends best wishes to Attorney Albright for his future ventures. Issued by MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD on 11/17/2021. (AULD, L.)

Nov. 17, 2021 PACER

***Attorney CLYDE BALLINGER ALBRIGHT is terminated as counsel of record for Defendants Terry Johnson and Cliff Parker. (AULD, L.)

Nov. 17, 2021 PACER

TEXT ORDER concluding that, in light of the representations in 52 Response, no action is warranted as to Attorney Adam P. Banks's absence from the pretrial conference held on 10/25/2021. In 52 Response, Attorney Banks not only offered "sincere[] apologies for not attending the pretrial conference as directed," but also set out a detailed, self-critical account for his non-appearance, which reflects significant introspection, carries the ring of truth, and inspires confidence that no similar problems will arise in the future, even without the impetus of any admonition from the Court. Issued by MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD on 11/17/2021. (AULD, L.)

Nov. 17, 2021 PACER

TEXT ORDER admonishing Attorney Jason L. Keith for his absence from the pretrial conference held on 10/25/2021 as directed in the Text Order dated 08/25/2021. In 50 Response, Attorney Keith "apologize[d] to the Court for [his] absence at the October 25 hearing," before offering various explanations that give the Court pause. First, 50 Response relates that Attorney Keith, upon "reading the order[, ] assumed 'all counsel' only referred to the parties that were currently actively arguing the claims in the matter of Gregory Drumwright, et al." As an initial matter, the Text Order in question referred not just to "all counsel," but to "all counsel of record." Further, it is not clear how a reference to "all counsel" led Attorney Keith to find a limitation to particular (unspecified) "parties" and, in any event, Attorney Keith represents Plaintiffs who, at the time of the pretrial conference on 10/25/2021, "were actively arguing the claims in the matter of Gregory Drumwright, et al." Next, 50 Response states that Attorney Keith's "understanding [wa]s that there would be at least one attorney present from each of the many law firms in the case," but Attorney Keith is the only attorney of record from his firm and he did not appear. Finally, 50 Response asserts that Attorney Keith "mistakenly assumed the Court's intent would be satisfied by the attendance of Elizabeth Haddix and other lead attorneys in this matter," but the Docket lists Attorney Keith as a "Lead Attorney" for Plaintiffs and 50 Response offers no explanation for why Attorney Keith would have thought only other lead attorneys needed to appear. Notwithstanding the unsatisfactory nature of Attorney Keith's explanations for his failure to follow a clear directive from the Court, in light of his apology, the Court concludes that the admonishment effected herein suffices. Issued by MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD on 11/17/2021. (AULD, L.)

Nov. 17, 2021 PACER

TEXT ORDER admonishing Attorney Allison J. Harvill for her absence from the pretrial conference held on 10/25/2021 as directed in the Text Order dated 08/25/2021 (to which she became bound by filing 39 Notice of Special Appearance on 10/01/2021). In 54 Response, Attorney Harvill "apologize[d] to the Court for her absence from the October 25, 2021 hearing," before offering this explanation: "[Attorney Harvill] read the Court's August 25, 2021 text order and in good faith mistakenly assumed that the order referred to the lead attorneys who are actively arguing the claims in the matter of Gregory Drumwright, et al. [Attorney Harvill's] inadvertence of the Honorable Robert [sic] Auld's order was based in part on her experiences with other federal district courts and state courts in which the local rules limit in-person appearances at pre-trial conferences to lead counsel who will be conducting the trial." The issuing Magistrate Judge reviewed the local rules for the five federal courts in the two states in which Attorney Harvill is licensed and found no "local rules limit[ing] in-person appearances at pre-trial conferences to lead counsel who will be conducting the trial." In any event, the Local Rules of this Court include no such provision and Attorney Harvill, as a specially appearing attorney, should have taken special care to familiarize herself with the Local Rules of this Court. Nor (despite her focus on her understanding of other courts' local rules regarding in-person appearances for court proceedings) does the record reflect that Attorney Harvill took any steps to appear at the conference on 10/25/2021 in some other fashion. Notwithstanding the unsatisfactory nature of Attorney Harvill's explanation for her failure to follow a clear directive from the Court, in light of her apology and her withdrawal from this case, the Court concludes that the admonishment effected herein suffices. Issued by MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD on 11/17/2021. (AULD, L.)

Nov. 17, 2021 PACER

TEXT ORDER concluding that, in light of the representations in 49 Response, no action is warranted as to Attorney Scott D. MacLatchie's absence from the pretrial conference held on 10/25/2021. In 49 Response, Attorney MacLatchie not only "apologize[d] to the Court for [his] absence at the October 25 hearing," but also set out a detailed, self-critical account for his non-appearance, which reflects significant introspection, carries the ring of truth, and inspires confidence that no similar problems will arise in the future, even without the impetus of any admonition from the Court. Issued by MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD on 11/17/2021. (AULD, L.)

Nov. 17, 2021 PACER

TEXT ORDER admonishing Attorney Patrick H. Flanagan for his absence from the pretrial conference held on 10/25/2021, as directed in the Text Order dated 08/25/2021. In 51 Response, Attorney Flanagan "sincerely apologize[d] to the Court for [his] absence at the October 25th pretrial conference," before offering this explanation: "I did not intend to disregard the Court's order directing all counsel to appear on October 25, 2021, but instead it was a misinterpretation on my part of what the Court meant by 'all counsel.' I knew that my law partner, Paul Gessner, would be attending the pretrial conference and speaking on behalf of our client. I mistakenly believed that was sufficient representation at the conference. It was my error and only my error. I admit that I should have clarified the Court's Order with this Court." As an initial matter, the Text Order in question referred not just to "all counsel," but to "all counsel of record." Further, it is not clear from Attorney Flanagan's above-quoted explanation how a reference to "all counsel of record" led Attorney Flanagan to reach his mistaken belief or how he will avoid misinterpretations of the plain language of orders in the future. Notwithstanding the (at least partially) unsatisfactory nature of Attorney Flanagan's explanation for his failure to comply with a clear directive from the Court, in light of his apology, the Court concludes that the admonishment effected herein suffices. Issued by MAG/JUDGE L. PATRICK AULD on 11/17/2021. (AULD, L.)

Nov. 17, 2021 PACER

Motions Referred

Nov. 17, 2021 PACER

Order on Motion to Withdraw as Attorney AND Order on Motion to Withdraw as Attorney

Nov. 17, 2021 PACER

State / Territory: North Carolina

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 2, 2020

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Numerous attendees and organizers of the "I Am Change March to the Polls" rally where alleged voter intimidation occurred.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Lawyers Comm. for Civil Rights Under Law

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Alamance County Sheriff's Office (Graham, Alamance), County

Graham Police Department (Graham, Alamance), City

City of Graham (Alamance), City

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

42 U.S.C. § 1985

Voting Rights Act, unspecified, 52 U.S.C. § 10301 et seq (previously 42 U.S.C § 1973 et seq.)

Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Freedom of speech/association

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Excessive force

Pepper/OC spray

Voting

Voting access