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Lawsuit dismissed


Enterprise staff

LIVINGSTON -- Pretrial hearings in a lawsuit filed by James Clark of Goodrich against Goodrich Councilwoman Nita Gokey were over before ever beginning at the Polk County Judicial Center Tuesday. Justice of the Peace Judge Darrell Longino, citing state law, explained that the jurisdiction of his court does not cover Clark's lawsuit against Gokey. Clark filed the lawsuit after May's Goodrich City Council meeting to swear in new members. Gokey publicly addressed four residents of Goodrich, including Clark, saying they voted illegally. "There are some things that we are prohibited from law from handling," Longino said. "One of those things is a justice court does not have jurisdiction of a suit to recover damages from slander or defamation of character. I have no jurisdiction to hear this case." Longino explained the lawsuit is a district court matter and dismissed the case. The judge advised Clark to seek legal council and if he still wished to pursue the lawsuit, file in district court. Clark said he would proceed, taking Longino's advice. "My next step is to meet with an attorney for legal council and file this as quickly as possible in district


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