Court Hearing - Dan Norris Garbage Bill

Yesterday, 8/2/05, was the court hearing for the appeal that the County made concerning the past due garbage bill that Danny Norris owes.  At 9:07am, the case was called.  Mr. Norris was not in the courtroom.  County Attorney, John Nix, said he felt there needed to be an evidence hearing for the record.  Judge Prior said it would be #1 on the contested calendar that morning.  At 9:12am, Mr. Norris appeared in the courtroom.


At 9:25am, the Judge called the case.  Danny Norris represented himself in this civil suit.  He asked for a JURY trial and according to law, if the appeal is made in 30 days, he has the right to a jury trial.  It seemed from what was heard that Danny Norris is asking for “damages” since he said the county didn’t have a right to appeal his case.  He quoted the county garbage ordinance as saying, “matters would be SETTLED in Magistrate Court.”  Mr. Nix said he felt that was an unique way of looking at it, but county ordinances did not circumvent STATE law, which gave either side the right to appeal.  Mr. Nix further stated that the erroneous position of the Magistrate Judge (Ken Jackson) must be appealed.  Mr. Norris continued that the ordinance said the decisions would be RESOLVED in Magistrate Court.  Judge Prior reiterated that the County ordinance couldn’t overrule the right to appeal under State Law.  He denied this line of reasoning. 


All other issues that Mr. Norris is protesting, including “damages”, will be heard during the jury trial, which has been set for November 14th.




Is Danny Norris the one that should be before the Judge or is Ken Jackson the one that should be there?  Ken Jackson made a ruling completely contrary to a Georgia Supreme Court ruling on a case very, very similar to this case.  Ken Jackson ruled he didn’t know if it was “constitutional.”  If the County appeals anything it looks like it would appeal Ken Jackson’s ruling.  If the Superior Court rules the ordinance is Constitutional, then Mr. Norris will have to pay his bill (as most all other citizens have been doing). 


Again we protest the fact that Ken Jackson stays OUT of his office more than he is IN it while being paid $59,000+ a year by the Jasper County taxpayers.  How much has he cost the county with this faulty ruling?  Mr. Nix spent at least 3 hours yesterday and most likely at least an hour going over this case and the information before the hearing.  He will now spend another how many hours to go before a Jury in this case asking for a little more than $300?  Then of course, we will pay the jurors for their time.  Make sure you tell Mr. Jackson how much you appreciate all this when you see him.  Ask him if he has any idea how much he’s cost the county with this “special” ruling he gave Mr. Norris.  In the past Jackson has come down hard on people about garbage.  Why the change in this case? 


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