Jackson-Amis No-Show; Loses Suit, Asks Judge To Reinstate Lawsuit

“The judge ruled in favor of the bus company when former Easton councilwoman Moonyene Jackson-Amis did not show for the hearing. Jackson-Amis sued a bus company after an aborted trip to see President Obama’s inauguration. Her suit claimed the bus company owed her $1300 and change plus other fees after other people put up their money to go, but the trip never happened.

After failing to appear in court, Jackson-Amis has asked Talbot County District Court to reinstate the case dismissed against the bus company. Jackson-Amis, who is an attorney although not admitted to the bar in Maryland, filed suit on April 30 against Dillon’s Bus Service, Rodney James and Sabian Associates, seeking the $1,372 she says she paid James, plus compensatory damages. The suit was served on Dillon, but not on James or Sabian Associates.

“”An official application filed on Monday, July 13, 2009, asked the District Court to reinstate the case dismissed against Defendant Dillon Bus Company, as plaintiff was lead (sic) to believe by official notice that the Rodney James matter scheduled for July 9, 2009, would not be heard on that date because two defendants, James and Sabien (sic) had not been served with process,”” Jackson-Amis wrote in an e-mail to The Star Democrat Tuesday night.

A district court clerk, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because clerks have to be impartial, said records show that a trial notice went out just days in advance notifying the parties of the July 9 trial. “”Probably what she got was that the court date was canceled on the other two parties because of non-service on the other two, and it would be very easy to think that the entire court date had been postponed,”” the clerk said. “”It’s a common mistake on some parties’ part, but there was no notice that went out to tell her that that complaint had been postponed.””

Dillon, meanwhile, remained perplexed as to why he was ever included in the suit and said he would be surprised if he had to appear in court again other than as a witness. He said he double-checked to make sure he still needed to appear in court before coming over from the western shore. When he appeared, Judge William H. Adkins III dismissed the case against him because Jackson-Amis, who lives just minutes from the court house, failed to appear. Dillon said he ended up losing about $700 by doing business with James. He figured it would be easier to write it off than to press suit against James.

“”Plaintiff has spent much time and resources to regain funds taken from victims of the Inaugural scam by defendant Rodney James and those who acted in complicity with his scheme,”” Jackson-Amis wrote in her e-mail. “”Interested parties were notified not to appear on July 9, 2009, due the postponement. The notice was understood and thought to apply to all defendants, inextricably part of the same facts which lead to the failed Inaugural trip. There was no notice that the case would be severed and Dillon tried independently. Without Rodney James pertinent evidence could not have been adduced and a fair and impartial trial could not have ensued.””

“”Dismissal of the case came as a complete surprise,”” Jackson-Amis wrote. “”That the matter was on the trial docket came as a complete surprise. Judicial economy and fairness dictate that all parties necessary to ferreting out the facts in one transaction, be tried together unless and upon notice there is a compelling reason to separate the parties. No compelling reason existed in this matter and no motion was filed to have separate trials. Dismissal of the case under these circumstances is harsh and precludes justice,”” she wrote. “”Again, The Star Democrat failed to report the salient facts. Reporting half truths is reporting lies.””