Judge to review Sanderson Farms suit
Nov 03, 2012 (Menafn - The Wilson Daily Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --A Superior Court judge will review the latest lawsuit filed against Nash County that alleges the commissioners failed to follow state law when buying land that could become the future site of a Sanderson Farms poultry plant.
Two prominent farmers -- Carson Barnes, Barnes Farming Corp. owner, and Clay Strickland, Spring Acres owner -- are asking the court to make Nash County's purchase of 145 acres on N.C. 97 void because the county bought the land without holding a public hearing.
The plaintiffs are also asking the court to place a preliminary injunction on Nash County's transfer of the property to Sanderson Farms until the case is finalized in court.
The case will be reviewed at 10 a.m. in Nash County Superior Court in Nashville Monday.
The case was planned to be heard in court on Oct. 1 but postponed to Nov. 5 at the request of Nash County attorneys. The county then set a public hearing on Oct. 15 to receive feedback on the commissioner's interest in buying the N.C. 97 property, which it previously bought in December 2010 for 1.2 million.
Nash County most recently filed a request that the case be dismissed because the commissioners held the public hearing.
John Branch III, an attorney with the Shanahan Law Group, said that the judge could consider his plaintiffs' requests as well as Nash County's request that the case be dismissed.
"We, obviously, strongly disagree," Branch said.
Before the October public hearing was held, Branch said the hearing wouldn't impact his plaintiffs' case because the public hearing was not held before the land was purchased, a procedure that is outlined in state law.
The case is one of several launched against Nash County since it showed interest in drawing Sanderson Farms to Nash County. Sanderson Farms, one of the nation's largest poultry production companies, is interested in expanding with a 10th processing plant, hatchery and other associated facilities in Nash County.
Nash County purchased the N.C. 97 property in 2010 and most recently included the transfer of land, at no cost, to Sanderson Farms as part of an incentive package. Nash County has agreed to not give the property to Sanderson Farms until the case is concluded.
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