The long and amazingly drawn out case of former Summerfield Town Councilmember Todd Rotruck – who was ousted from that seat after a successful challenge to his residency in Summerfield – is now, after nearly two years, a thing of the past.
On Monday, Oct. 7, Rotruck informed the Rhino Times that he would not appeal – or legally challenge in other ways – a NC Court of Appeals decision that kept him out of the Town Council seat he was elected to in late 2017.
Rotruck said he never really considered taking the case to the NC Supreme Court though he did explore some other more obscure legal options that would have cost less.
“I’ve already spent a stupid amount of money on this,” he said, adding that a legal appeal of his case to the NC Supreme Court would have been even more costly than his past legal battles.
In early August, a three-judge panel of the NC Court of Appeals heard arguments from Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne and from Marsh Prause, an attorney with the Winston-Salem firm of Allman Spry Davis Leggett & Crumpler, which has been representing Rotruck.
In early September, the court upheld a lower court decision that was keeping Rotruck out of the seat.
Rotruck was removed from the Summerfield Town Council in April 2018 after a Summerfield woman filed the residency challenge against him and the Guilford County Board of Elections agreed with her. The elections board ruled that Rotruck wasn’t a resident of Summerfield and that decision set off a long legal battle in the court system.
Rotruck said this week that he’s still not at peace with the decision, but his options were limited. He said judges do not like to overrule other judges when it comes to election law and that has hurt him in multiple court cases.
“They gave a very weak argument,” he said of the three-judge panel that determined his fate last month. He said that the decision by the state’s appellate court all seemed to rest on one address that was mistakenly put on one document. He said that one “typo” weighed big in the judges’ minds.
According to Payne, Rotruck had until Tuesday, Oct. 8 to file an appeal of that NC Court of Appeals decision.