TONYA M. PRICE, Plaintiff,
ROBERT CALDER, JR., Defendant
Heard in the Court of Appeals December 3, 2014
New Hanover County, No. 14 CVS 1506.
Randolph M. James for plaintiff-appellant.
Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog, LLP, by Patrick M. Mincey and Kara O. Gansmann, for defendant-appellee.
BRYANT, Judge. Judges DILLON and DIETZ concur.
Appeal by plaintiff from order entered 12 June 2014 by Judge Phyllis M. Gorham in New Hanover County Superior Court.
Because defendant--appointed as a commissioner by a Clerk of Superior Court to oversee the partition of property held by co-tenants--was acting within the scope of his duties as a quasi-judicial official, his actions were covered by the rule of judicial immunity.
Accordingly, we affirm the dismissal of the complaint.
On 29 April 2014, plaintiff Tonya M. Price filed a complaint against defendant Robert Calder, Jr., a real estate attorney, for his conduct while serving as a commissioner over a partition by sale of property jointly owned by plaintiff and her co-tenant, Robert M. Hesch.
Prior to the partition by sale ordered in Hesch v. Price, 09-SP-0401, plaintiff had retained defendant as a real estate attorney in at least one real estate transaction. In her complaint, plaintiff alleged that in 2007, she and co-tenant Hesch--with whom she was romantically involved--sold real property in New Hanover County for $533,000.00. In that transaction, defendant acted on behalf of plaintiff and Hesch.
Plaintiff and Hesch also held other properties as joint tenants with right of survivorship, including property located at 314, 316, and 414 Loder Avenue, Wilmington (the Loder Avenue properties). Plaintiff alleged that Hesch rented the property located at 414 Loder Avenue to a realtor, Jeffery Terry, without accounting to plaintiff for the rent paid by Terry. In addition to being a realtor who had previously listed the property at 414 Loder Avenue for sale, Terry was also Hesch's personal friend.
In a letter to the Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors dated 10 September 2009, plaintiff stated that Terry was residing at the property plaintiff owned jointly with Hesch, that Terry removed a jet-ski lift (a procedure subjecting the property owners to a fine of up to $10,000.00 if performed without a permit), removed plaintiff's personal belongings from the residence, blocked a boat slip plaintiff had rented out in a commercial ...