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Prosecutor objects to motion holding Carroll County sheriff in contempt

Union Leader Correspondent

September 09. 2012 8:36PM

CONWAY - The prosecutor for the Carroll County Sheriff's Department filed paperwork Friday objecting to a motion to hold county Sheriff Christopher Conley in contempt for failing to enforce a series of court orders.

North Conway attorney H. Edward McBurney, who represents the Crown Ridge Condominium Association, filed 24 separate motions Aug. 31 to hold Conley in contempt, one for each defendant who failed to pay annual maintenance charges at the timeshare condominiums. A Third Circuit District Court judge ruled in favor of the association and in April directed the sheriff's department to levy the money owed from the defendants through writs of execution. The motion for contempt, filed individually in each defendant's file, claims the sheriff failed to execute sales of the defendants' interest and deliver the deeds and writs of execution back to the plaintiff. The court had ordered the writs to be returned by July 17. According to court documents, the sheriff's office didn't return the writs and the funds from the department's sale of the timeshares until Sept. 4.

According to the motion, McBurney spoke directly with Conley about the delays, and although the sheriff promised to deliver the deeds and writs, nothing was received as of Aug. 31.

McBurney stated the association was 'irremediably prejudiced,' since it could not sell the timeshare units until the deeds were received, and was unable to collect prorated maintenance fees for the units.

He said his client has been forced to seek judicial assistance to 'secure a clearly defined right. The motion asks the court to award the plaintiff its costs and legal fees.

McBurney declined to talk about the case.

Through an objection filed by Sheriff's Department Prosecutor Timothy Morgan, Conley stated a number of the deeds prepared by McBurney's office contained errors, and when McBurney directed Conley to cross out the errors and note the corrections by hand, the sheriff declined. Instead, department staff retyped the erroneous documents.

'The process of undertaking Service, Sheriff's Sales, Recording of Deeds, Accounting, and Reporting on twenty-four (24) Writs of Execution, is large, cumbersome and time consuming. The process was made even more burdensome by the errors made by the office of Attorney McBurney,' Morgan wrote in the objection.

The objection asks the court to deny the prosecutor's motion, schedule a hearing if necessary, and grant just relief.

Ultimately, the association purchased 19 of the 24 of the timeshares at the sheriff's sale. Two of the writs were satisfied prior to the sale and two timeshares purchased by third parties. One writ was found to be a duplicate writ for co-owners, according to the sheriff's office.

As of Friday afternoon, McBurney had not filed a motion to withdraw the motions for contempt.

District court personnel indicated that it would be up to the judge - Judge Pamela Albee sits at the Third Circuit District Court - whether and when to hold a hearing.

Public Safety Courts Conway