Part of Judge Bradley Letts’ written order dismissing the evidence room open records lawsuit filed by a local media coalition (including Xpress) has been filed. The order dismisses the part of the lawsuit against the Buncombe County District Attorney’s office on the technical grounds that it was misnamed in the lawsuit.
“It is now therefore ordered that the complaint is hereby dismissed as to the named defendant, ‘Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office,’ since there is no such entity,” the order reads. It also denies the amendment by Charles Coble, who represented the local media alliance, to change the formal name of the defendant. The lawsuit also names the city of Asheville, asserting that an audit of the Asheville Police Department evidence room completed earlier this year is public record.
Attorney (and retired judge) Ronald Payne, representing District Attorney Ron Moore, made the argument to Letts on Sept. 4 that the lawsuit should be dismissed because it named the DA’s office, rather than Moore in his formal capacity. Coble had argued that the issue wasn’t enough to prevent Letts from ordering the release of the audit.
Letts has yet to file an order relating to the part of the lawsuit concerning the city of Asheville.