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Trial Postponed In Mitchell Mayoral Race
Updated January 4, 2016 7:25 AM
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(BEDFORD) - The trial to determine if a new mayoral election will be held in Mitchell has been postponed.

Instead the attorneys representing John "JD" England and Dan Terrell will talk with special Judge E. Michael Huff to set a hearing to hear argument on a motion to dismiss the case.

Cody Kendall, England's attorney, filed paperwork Thursday morning asking Hoff to dismiss the case saying the election was to be contested within 14 days under the "good faith requirement".

According to court documents, Kendall claims that Terrell and his attorney, at the time of the first filing, were simply trying to keep the ball in the air until they could figure out one actual basis or another for the election contest. The motion says, "whether Terrell's contest was based on a hunch or was merely a cynical prelude to a fishing expedition, it fails to meet the good faith requirement."

Kendall claims:

  • "Fishing-expedition approach" by Terrell and his attorneys should results in dismissal for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.
  • Terrell did not have a good-faith basis for the allegations in his verified petition on November 13 when he filed it. Terrell plainly used his recount as a discovery process to obtain information that might support his contest.
  • Mullis signed the petition to contest the election claiming he had "knowledge, information and belief to support" the verified petition.
  • Mullis and Terrell essentially stated to the court that the verified petition met the good faith requirement but Kendall denies that.
  • Terrell's numerous complaints about the election he seeks to contest are based upon information he obtained only during the recount proceedings. Indeed, much of the information that Terrell included in the injunction request was not available to anyone, including Terrell, until the December 10 recount proceedings.
  • During normal court proceedings, when England and Kendall asked Terrell about who he consulted about these allegations, Terrell responded "'Numerous persons (at least 100) have made comments and statements to the petitioner concerning the election, the recount and contesting the election, both before and after filing the petition herein. Petitioner is unable to recall all of those persons by name or otherwise identify them."
  • Terrell declined to attempt to identify a few individuals of the 'at least 100' persons' who provided Terrell with meaningful information sufficient to meet the good faith requirement before November 13."
  • In Indiana, hearings on election contests are required to be within a specific amount of time, and this hearing should have been set before the end of December. Because Terrell first focused on the recount instead of the contest, Terrell created the delay that pushed the contest hearing outside the time limit.

But Terrell's attorney disagrees saying at least 40 votes were intermingled with legitimate one saying the election was unfair. Brooks also believes he's following the normal process of election contests.

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