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Judge rules on DA’s request to dismiss Smith’s civil lawsuit

Jon David

A U.S. Magistrate Judge has allowed portions of a civil lawsuit against District Attorney Jon David to proceed while dismissing parts in a case involving the shuttering of two Dublin  sweepstakes business in 2015.

On Sept. 19, Judge Robert B. Jones Jr. denied David’s request to dismiss the official capacity takings claim under the N.C. Constitution and individual capacity claims for conversion, a declaratory judgment, and a violation of constitutional rights, while dismissing the takings claim under the U.S. Constitution and individual capacity takings claim under the N.C. Constitution against the District Attorney, according to the ruling filed in the Southern Division of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

The civil lawsuit was filed in January by Holly and Jeffrey Smith, who are owners of Cybernet and Aladdin Real Estate, and who operated two Aladdin sweepstakes businesses in Dublin. The businsses were raided May 29, 2015, when Sheriff’s Office deputies removed sweepstakes machines, computer equipment and other items, and six people were arrested on sweepstakes-related charges.

Jeffery Smith
Jeffrey Smith

The Smiths’ suit seeks in excess of $10,000 for damages caused during the raid. Bladen County Sheriff James McVicker, Deputy Travis Deaver and David are named in the suit.

David’s motion to dismiss the case with mediation was denied as moot by Jones, according to the court document.

McVicker and Deaver were not part of the motion to dismiss the claims.

Jeffrey Smith has estimated between $15,000 to $20,000 in damage was done to the businesses during the raid.

In January, Superior Court Judge Ola M. Lewis ruled that David’s office, which serves Bladen, Brunswick and Columbus counties, would not be allowed to continue to prosecute the case against the Smiths under a vindictive prosecution motion filed on the Smiths behalf. The District Attorney’s office has appealed that ruling.

Jeffrey Smith was charged in Jan. 2013 with electronic sweepstakes violations in Bladen County. The trial, held in April 2014, ended in a hung jury. Smith reopened his sweepstakes businesses in May 2014 before being shut down in May 2015.

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