On Monday, April 1, former Summerfield Town Councilmember Todd Rotruck, who’s been on a quest to regain that Town Council seat ever since he was removed from it nearly one year ago, filed a motion seeking for the NC Court of Appeals to expedite his case based on a newly released written order from a recent court ruling in Guilford County Superior Court.
Rotruck, who was elected to the Summerfield Town Council in November 2017, was removed from that seat in April after a Summerfield woman filed a residency challenge against him and the Guilford County Board of Elections agreed with her: The elections board ruled that Rotruck was not a resident of Summerfield.
Rotruck appealed the Board of Elections’ decision in court, and, when that wasn’t successful, he appealed the matter to the NC Court of Appeals, where his case was expected to be heard sometime later this year by a three-judge panel of appellate judges in Raleigh.
Now, if Rotruck’s recent legal foray is successful, that appeal will be heard soon – perhaps this month.
Rotruck, along with his attorney Marsh Prause, with the Winston-Salem firm of Allman Spry Davis Leggett & Crumpler, filed a motion earlier this year meant to establish Rotruck’s right to occupy the seat on the Town Council until his appeal could be decided. While Rotruck wasn’t granted that right, Forsyth County Superior Court Judge David Hall, ruling in Guilford County Superior Court on that matter, did find that it was in the public’s interest for Rotruck’s appeal to be decided before July 1, the start of the filing date for candidates seeking that Town Council seat.
Rotruck’s April 1 filing for an expedited hearing cites Hall’s decision and other arguments in favor of a speedy appeal.
If Rotruck does win his case and is allowed to retake his seat on the council, the Town Council seat isn’t up for election this year since his term wouldn’t be over until 2021. If he doesn’t win his appeal, then it’s up for grabs, since, according to the Summerfield Town Charter, if someone is appointed to fill a vacant Town Council seat – as happened in this case – that seat becomes open at the next election.
Rotruck said on Tuesday, April 2, that his goal is to get his appeal heard in time to be resolved by the filing date.
“We’re trying to get it on the schedule by May 1,” Rotruck said.