in the Court of Appeals 16 May 2018.
by plaintiff from order granting summary judgment entered 22
May 2017 by Judge Richard S. Gottlieb in Stokes County No. 15
CVS 843 Superior Court.
Law Group, PLLC, by Matthew L. Spencer and Steven D. Smith,
& Gibson, PLLC, by Michael G. Gibson and Michael R.
Haigler, for defendants-appellees.
& Talley, LLP, by Karen Strom Talley, for third party
Derrick Hamby appeals the trial court's order granting
defendants' motion for summary judgment. For the reasons
explained herein, we affirm.
December 2015, plaintiff filed an unverified complaint in
which he asserted claims for (1) trespass to land, (2) damage
to real property, (3) conversion, and (4) negligence against
defendants Timothy Thurman and Thurman Timber Company, LLC.
Plaintiff also asked that the court pierce the corporate veil
and hold defendant Timothy Thurman personally liable to
plaintiff. In his complaint, plaintiff alleged that
"[i]n August 2011, [p]laintiff's neighbor . . .
[Loyd Alvis Cline] hired [d]efendants to perform tree cutting
on trees owned by Neighbor." He also alleged that
"[d]efendants cut down eight (8) acres of trees on
[p]laintiff's property ("Property") that
[d]efendant did not have permission to cut."
2010, Cline and Timberland Properties, Inc. entered into a
"Timber Purchase and Sales Agreement" for the
purchase of certain timber located on Cline's property.
Subsequently, Timberland Properties, Inc. assigned the timber
rights under the agreement to Thurman Timber Company, LLC.
The "Assignment of Timber Deed" provided that
Thurman Timber Company, LLC would have until 8 June 2011
"to remove timber from the described property."
cutting operations on Cline's property occurred during
the summer of 2011. Plaintiff had been approached by several
individuals, including defendant Timothy Thurman, "to
inquire if [he] would be interested in selling timber located
on [his] property." In August 2011, plaintiff was
informed by Mrs. Cline "that the [d]efendants had cut
timber on [his] property . . . ." After inspecting his
property, plaintiff "realized that approximately 8 acres
of [his] land had been harvested for timber[.]" As a
result, plaintiff filed this action.
February 2017, defendants moved for summary judgment on all
claims, and the parties engaged in discovery. After a hearing
on 15 May 2017, the trial court granted defendants'
motion for summary judgment as to all of plaintiff's
claims, and dismissed the claims with prejudice. Plaintiff
now appeals from this order.
Court reviews de novo the trial court's ruling
on a motion for summary judgment. In re Will of
Jones, 362 N.C. 569, 573, 669 S.E.2d 572, 576 (2008).
Summary judgment is proper where "the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on
file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there
is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that any