Former Summerfield Town Councilmember Todd Rotruck got one message that he wanted to hear from the NC Court of Appeals: On Wednesday, April 3, the court responded to a motion filed two days earlier and granted Rotruck an expedited hearing of his case.
Rotruck was removed from a seat on the Summerfield Town Council nearly one year ago after the Guilford County Board of Elections ruled that he lived in Greensboro rather than Summerfield. Rotruck has been fighting that decision in the courts for the past year and, until the April 3 letter from the NC Court of Appeals, it looked like Rotruck’s appeal to regain his seat would not be heard until summer or fall of this year. However, Rotruck, through his attorney Marsh Prause, argued that that sort of timeline was an injustice since he must remain off the Town Council while his appeal takes place.
The very short April 3 letter from the state’s appellate court to the parties involved states: “The motion filed in this cause on the 1st of April 2019 and designated ‘Motion to Suspend the Rules of Appellate Procedure’ is decided as follows: The case shall be calendared as soon as practicable after all briefs have been filed.”
The letter was signed by Daniel M. Horne Jr., the clerk of NC Court of Appeals.
Rotruck said he didn’t know when the hearing would be scheduled but he said he had been hoping it would be soon.
The seat on the Summerfield Town Council will be on the ballot in November if Rotruck loses his appeal but will be Rotruck’s seat to hold until 2021 if he wins his appeal.
The filing period for candidates wishing to run for that seat opens on July 1 and there seems to be a consensus that it is to everyone’s benefit for the case to be decided before then.