Lawsuit against Whiteville chief gets new life after appeals court ruling

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WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — A Columbus County man’s lawsuit against Whiteville’s police chief is heading back to federal court after a recent appeals court ruling.

In November 2014 Calvin Norton filed a lawsuit against the City of Whiteville and Police Chief Jeffrey Rosier after Norton claimed Rosier illegally pulled him over in South Carolina. Last year, a federal judge dismissed the suit.

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Thursday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion that vacated Judge Terrence Boyle’s decision to summarily dismiss Norton’s claim that Rosier violated Norton’s 4th Amendment protection against illegal search and seizure and sent the claim back to US District Court to be heard again. The appeals court judges affirmed Boyle’s ruling to dismiss Norton’s claim against the City of Whiteville, but also reinstated claims Norton made at the state level, though the court expressed no opinion on the validity or truth of those claims.

When reached Saturday, Rosier told WWAY he did not know about the appeals ruling. After being given a copy of it, he said he had no comment and would need to consult the city’s attorney. Rosier has previously told WWAY Norton’s claims are not true.

In April, Norton, who ran unsuccessfully for Columbus County Sheriff in 2014, was arrested on SBI warrants for two counts of exploiting a disabled person, two counts of uttering forged documents, one count of forgery and one count of obtaining property by false pretense. At the time Rosier said Norton’s arrest and his lawsuit against the city and chief were unrelated.