CARTER SAYS HE DID NOT VIOLATE LEMASTER’S RIGHTS AND VOWS TO PROVE IT IN NEW TRIAL
Thanks to a ruling this week by the United States Court of Appeals, Lawrence Judge/Executive Phillip L. Carter is still facing problems with a case that he won in state court but has now lost part of in the high court.
The United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit reinstated Billy & Amanda Lemasters’ civil rights claims against Judge Executive Carter alleging he removed Lemaster Towing from towing rotation in violation of their civil rights.
On appeal, the Court found there was sufficient evidence that Judge Carter removed Lemaster Towing from the rotation list in retaliation for Lemaster exercising constitutional free speech for the case to proceed.
The Appellate Court affirmed dismissal of claims against Lawrence County, holding the County could not be liable for Judge Carter’s conduct because there was no county policy that authorized Judge Carter’s removal of Lemaster Towing from rotation.
“Right now we are still demanding that an Injunction be issued by the Court which is an order restraining Judge Carter from any further interference,” the Lemasters’ attorney Laura Jane Phelps told The Lazer. “No such order has been entered by the district court, as both of our Motions for preliminary injunction were overruled. So our primary goal at this point is to get the injunction issued to stop his unlawful conduct or otherwise we anticipate it will continue,” Phelps said.
“The value of the Lemasters’ claims are still being evaluated over time due to the ongoing nature of this case & judge Carter’s conduct.”
Judge Carter was asked for a statement by The Lazer.
“I am the attorney for Judge Executive Carter and the LCFC. I read your headline on the 6th Circuit’s recent ruling on the above case. It is inaccurate. The Court did not rule that Judge Carter violated Billy Lemaster/LeMaster Towing’s civil rights. The court simply ruled that there were factual disputes for a jury to resolve and , therefore, reversed (in part) Judge Bunning’s summary dismissal of LeMaster’s claims against judge Carter and sent the case back for trial,” Carter’s attorney Jeffrey Mando said today (Friday, Apr. 14, 2023).
“Judge Carter looks forward to taking the case to a jury where they will see and hear evidence that convincingly demonstrates that he did not retaliate in any way for Billy LeMaster’s April 2019 FB post or any other negative or critical comments LeMaster may have made. Contrary to LeMaster’s wild accusations, Judge Carter fixed a problem resulting in LeMaster receiving more calls for tow service. Judge Carter is confident that justice will prevail and that he will be vindicated by an Eastern Ky jury.”
The first account of the lawsuit appeared in thelevisalazer.com in 2020 and you can read it HERE.
The 18 page decision by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals can be seen below.