Judge Tommy Davis- Who is Matthew Fenner?

Superior Court in Rutherford County
Superior Court in Rutherford County

Thursday, October 8, 2015, in Rutherford County Superior Court there was a hearing held in the civil case brought by Robert Lewis Walker Jr. and Sarah Covington Anderson against Jerry Cooper Rccatalyst.com wrote about the case here when telling about the arrest of Jerry Cooper in the criminal case brought by Jane Whaley which was dismissed on May 29th. Mediation in the civil case did not bring a solution. The civil case surrounds Jerry Cooper’s Facebook posting commenting on the WRAL story of Matthew Fenner’s story of the events of from January 27, 2013. The issues in front of the court Thursday included a subpoena of the phone records of Danielle Cordez and Matthew Fenner.

One of the obvious differences on Thursday was the absence of any other WOFF members except Mark Morris, Hannah Davies and one other young WOFF member sitting in the attorney area. Mark Morris spoke as the lead attorney for Walker and Covington. Attorney Paul Ditz represented Jerry Cooper in this case.

About 2:12PM, Mark Morris leads off the session. The issues discussed included the requirements to obtain phone records from Ms. Cordez in Florida. In the end, this issue was not concluded as Judge Davis required more information from the attorneys. The process for an out of state party to obtain private records from a Florida resident is more involved than in North Carolina.

In the session, the definitions of libel and defamation were reviewed and rules quoted. During the discussion of the subpoena of Matthew Fenner’s records, Judge Davis asked, “Who Is Matthew Fenner?” In retrospect, the question did not mean, “I don’t know about Matthew Fenner.” I believe this was a way to get information into the court records about Mr. Fenner and related matters. Judge Davis presided over the initial hearings in the Fenner case as reported by Rccatatlyst.com.

Attorney Ditz objected to the broad nature of the subpoena which required phone calls information, texts and location of calls from two different time periods. Judge Davis questioned the broad scope of the subpoena as well. Morris justifies the scope as necessary to review Fenner’s actions and prove the allegations as false. Again, the Judge questions to timeline and Morris makes sweeping motions with his hands citing the posting of Cooper was a “statement to the world.”

In the discussion, Ditz states that the subpoena for Fenner’s records is a backdoor attempt to secure information which could be used in the criminal case of Fenner against the two plaintiffs. In the end, Judge Davis allows the motion to quash the subpoena of Fenner’s records and avoids making a decision on the Cordez subpoena until he receives more information. He will decide if the comment by Cooper was referring to the article or the events in the article. There is no definite time table for Judge Davis to make his ruling in this case.

At the end of the session, Morris reached out to shake Ditz’ hand in a very boisterous manner as if they were old lost friends. Does the reaction of Morris have to do with the outcome of Thursday’s session or his jubilation about other matters? Was he reflecting his ongoing affection for Ditz or his happiness surrounding another successful appearance before Judge Tommy Davis? If he was able, would he have shaken Judge Davis’ hand in the same manner? Are Morris and Davis truly the “old friends” in this scene? What do the court records show? What is Judge Davis’ record when ruling on WOFF cases?

In hindsight, did Judge Davis do Morris a favor by quashing the Fenner subpoena? While the State’s criminal case against Morris’ plaintiffs he represented on Thursday remains on hold in the NC Court of Appeals; if the Disqualification ORDER of Tomblin, Farmer and Morris by Judge Pope survives the appeal, could the acquisition of Fenner records in this civil case be deemed a violation of the spirit of the Disqualification ORDER and subject Tomblin, Farmer & Morris to sanctions or further penalties? Fortunately, for Morris this particular question was put to rest. Others remain.

Season of Changes is upon us. Will this be a cold winter in Spindale?

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