The North Carolina Court of Appeals is taking July off and it has yet to calendar the case of Todd Rotruck – a former Summerfield Town Councilmember who was removed from that council after the Guilford County Board of Elections determined that he did not live in Summerfield.
That means that his appeal will not be heard before the July filing period opens for seats on the Town Council that are up for grabs in the November election, and it also means that a decision in the Rotruck case could lead to further confusion down the road, depending on what the appeals court decides.
On Friday, June 21, a staff member with the NC Court of Appeals in Raleigh said that Rotruck’s appeal – an attempt to win back the seat he was kicked out of in April 2017 – was not currently on the court’s schedule and would not be until after the court comes back in session in August. She added that, given the logistics of the appeals court, if the case is put on the court’s calendar in August, it would likely be September before the case was heard.
In the meantime, filing starts next month for several Town Council seats in Summerfield that are up for election this year. Filing also opens for Rotruck’s seat for those candidates seeking to serve out the remainder of Rotruck’s vacated seat. The Summerfield Town Council appointed Dianne Laughlin to that seat last year but the town charter calls for vacant council seats to be filled by the voters at the first available election.
Rotruck said on Friday, June 20, that he’s been in consultation with his attorney and he said that he’s hopeful his case will be heard very soon after the appeals court judges return from the July vacation. He pointed out that a judges’ order from a previous case has requested that the state’s appeals court expedite the matter.