Attorney Matthew Ketcham of Caddell Reynolds has filed to have a default judgment against the mayor-elect of Alma, Arkansas set aside. An article on legal issues facing Jerry Martin appears here.
In November, American Express received a default judgment against Martin for over $35,000. Per the original suit, Mayor-elect Martin opened an account in 2014. The bank filed suit in May after repeated attempts to seek payment. Ketcham says his client was not properly served.
Court records show a summons was issued in May—and indicate Martin “failed to file a proper response” by the October deadline. The bank’s attorney filed for default judgment in favor of American Express—which was granted by the Circuit Court the following day.
Attorney Bill Reynolds of Caddell Reynolds said he expects the judgment against Mr. Martin to be dropped. Reynolds said Martin was helping a family member with medical issues at the time.
Regarding the suit, Reynolds noted: “While we were trying to negotiate that transaction a default was entered mistakenly. It shouldn’t have happened and it is at no fault of Jerry’s, whatsoever. Because he was vigorously trying to take care of this. In fact, the default judgment is going be set aside today and American Express who is the other party has agreed that it should be set aside. It’s current and it’s going to be paid off. It’s just a few days before the transactions are completed with the court so it can be dismissed forever.”
Regarding Martin, Reynolds added: “Jerry should actually be commended. How many people will help out their family members and go to substantial financial risk to help them out when they were truly in need? I think he should be commended for being the kind of Mayor a town wants.”
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