Judge’s ruling on removal of Confederate Statue in Covington upheld

Attorney for plaintiff plans to appeal to Georgia Supreme Court

COVINGTON — On July 22, 2021, the Georgia Court of Appeals upheld a ruling last year in Newton County Superior Court by Alcovy Circuit Court Chief Judge John Ott that two parties who had filed petitions to block the removal of the Confederate monument from the Covington Square did not have standing to bring suit against the county. That ruling, however, is likely to be appealed to the Georgia Surpreme Court. 

Attorney Kyle King, representing the Sons of Confederate Veterans, one of the plaintiffs, said a notice has been filed with the Court of Appeals requesting that the case be considered by the Georgia Supreme Court. He said the Supreme Court would base its decision on whether or not the case is considered a matter of public interest, which he considers is indeed the case in this instance. King said he believes that the ruling could have impact throughout the state with other jurisdictions that have similar statues. The Historic Walton County Courthouse in Monroe is one of the jurisdictions that has one such statue.

“We are hoping the Supreme Court will take up the case and give us a more favorable ruling, based on its public interest,” King said.

The Covington Confederate Monument was unveiled on the square in Covington on April 26, 1906. In July 202, by a vote of 3 – 2, the Newton County Board of Commissioners voted to remove it.

Going to ask ga supreme court because we sons of confederate – assembly tried to give standing I hope would be that the general assembly would look at the statute. This definitely has implications one point we have made at every level the monument law also protects monuments on a broader scale – obviously includes the stat

The complaints for damages and injunctive relief were filed by Newton County resident Tiffany Davis Humphries and Sons of Confederate Veterans, General George “Tig” Anderson Camp. Both parties were seeking to prevent the county from moving the statue from the Historic Covington Square to another location still to be determined. At the time, Ott ruled that the statue will remain where it is until the case had been decided. King said he believes that will continue to be the case until the Georgia Supreme Court has ruled.

“It is my understanding is that the judge is going to wait for the case to come back to his court. I believe he is going to wait,” King said. He said if a ruling from the Georgia Supreme Court also goes against them, it is unlikely that the case will go any higher.

“In theory we could ask the U.S. Supreme Court, but I doubt that will happen,” he said.

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