Small-claims cases are under appeal

Published 11:13 am Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A small-claims case involving the former director of Options to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is on the docket for Monday’s civil session of Beaufort County District Court.

A defendant in that case, Delma Blinson, has appealed the small-claims court’s ruling in favor of Ann Hastings, who initiated the case in September 2009. Hastings filed a complaint for money she said was owed to her. She sought her August 2008 salary as Options’ director and interest on that salary. She asked the court for $3,788.73, which included the $95 fee she paid to file her complaint.

On Sept. 30, 2010, the small-claims court entered a judgment awarding Hastings $3,873.38.

Execution of that judgment was stayed Dec. 21, 2010, by a judge.

Court documents show Blinson, a former president of the Options board, sought to have the complaint against him dismissed because he is no longer associated with Options. Blinson also seeks relief from the judgment, court documents indicate.

Before it closed in late summer 2009, the Washington-based Options provided services to domestic-violence victims in the five counties of the 2nd Judicial District — Beaufort, Hyde, Martin, Washington and Tyrrell counties.

A dispute between Options and two state agencies over funding resulted in Options closing because it ran out of money.

A case involving Beaufort County Sheriff Alan Jordan and Tony Warren Keech Jr., one of Jordan’s former deputies, also is on the docket for Monday’s civil session of Beaufort County District Court.

Jordan, in his capacity as sheriff, filed a complaint alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment. While serving as a deputy, Keech voluntarily signed up to participate in a program in which the sheriff’s office agreed to purchase a $350 gym membership for each participating officer, according to the complaint. In return, each officer was required to spend 240 minutes each month at the gym training to be able to satisfy the fitness requirements of his or her employment with the sheriff’s office.

“Officers who failed to meet the 240 minute per month requirement were required to replay the $350.00 value of their gym membership,” reads the complaint.

The complaint states that Keech was terminated from the sheriff’s office for cause Jan. 13, 2010. That meant he was unable to go to the gym and meet the sheriff’s office’s fitness requirements because he was no longer employed by the sheriff’s office, the complaint states.

Keech failed to repay the $350, according to the complaint.

The small-claims court entered a judgment for Jordan in the amount of $172.50.

Keech appealed that judgment to District Court.

Although they are on the docket for Monday, the two cases could be heard later next week or continued until another term of court.