Kendrick Johnson family, lawyer ordered to pay attorneys’ fees

| August 18, 2016

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VALDOSTA – The parents of Kendrick Johnson and their attorney will have to pay attorneys’ fees associated with lawsuits the family filed accusing multiple individuals of causing Johnson’s death, according to documents filed with the Superior Court of Lowndes County on Thursday.

Judge Richard Porter said he spent “considerable time” reviewing the case.

“I have concluded that the motions should be granted and that some amount would be awarded in each motion,” Porter stated in an email filed with the court.

A hearing to determine how much Kenneth and Jackie Johnson and their lawyer, Chevene King, will be required to pay will begin Monday, August 22 and is expected to last the entire week. The Johnsons cannot appeal the decision until an amount is determined and a final order is entered.

The Johnsons have called for protesters to gather at the courthouse before the start of Monday’s hearing, according to a Facebook post made by Jackie Johnson which characterized the hearings as a “miscarriage of justice” and “an attempt to forever silence (Kendrick Johnson’s) parents.”

The body of Kendrick Johnson was found upside down in a vertically-stored gym mat at Lowndes High School in January 2013. A state autopsy ruled the 17-year-old’s death accidental. The Johnson family insists their son died of foul play.

The Johnsons filed a $100 million civil suit in January 2015, which alleged local FBI agent Rick Bell, his two sons and 35 state and local officials either directly caused or covered up the cause of their son’s death.

The family then voluntarily dropped the suit in March, prompting the former defendants in the suit to file motions to recoup nearly $900,000 in attorneys’ fees. The Johnsons have until September 1 to refile the $100 million dollar suit, but will likely be ordered to pay attorneys’ fees before refiling.

The deadline to refile two additional suits the Johnsons filed against the Lowndes County Schools passed in May.

Lowndes County Schools has issued the following statement regarding the awarding of attorneys’ fees:

“The Lowndes County School System defendants are pleased with today’s ruling in the Superior Court of Lowndes County granting their motion for attorneys’ fees in the three cases filed by the Johnsons against them. Any further comment will be reserved pending the outcome of the hearings to determine the specific amount of attorneys’ fees awarded.”

Georgia law allows for payment of attorneys’ fees in civil suits when there exists “such a complete absence of any justiciable issue of law or fact that it could not be reasonably believed that a court would accept the asserted claim, defense, or other position.”

In June, the Department of Justice ended a nearly three year investigation of Johnson’s death and determined there was insufficient evidence to support federal criminal charges.

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18 Comments on "Kendrick Johnson family, lawyer ordered to pay attorneys’ fees"

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  1. This is a sad day in the history of Valdosta and the world. The parents of KJ is being sued – their son was murdered and the cover up continues. A judge in Valdosta to rule over this case is a joke – they were not going to be fair to these people – come on let’s get real. This trail should never have taken place. But the last say so will not be the earthly judge.

    We are still living in slavery time.

    • Robert says:

      Slavery is a legal or economic system in which principles of property law are applied to humans allowing them to be classified as property to be owned, bought and sold accordingly, and they cannot withdraw unilaterally from the arrangement.

      I’m definitely not seeing any of this going on? Does anyone here in Valdosta own the Johnson’s? Does anyone in Valdosta own anyone through the purchase by exchange of money or anything else? Your ignorance my friend…is amusing.

    • Eric "Da Blacksheep" TrixNDix says:

      Their son died in an accident….they ruined people over hearsay….then wanted a payout. Your race card has no power here.

    • Citizen says:

      I am certain that if it is so bad here you can move.

    • Reality check says:

      So once again, let’s review. Every student at Lowndes was in on the conspiracy. Every teacher. Every person working at the high school. Every board member. Every Sherrif’s department employee. Every GBI agent. Every single person at the FBI. Every person in power at the Department of Justice and pretty much all of them were black. Michael Moore, the US Attorney gave up but maybe because he is now in on the cover up.

      All in the perfect conspiracy. Makes perfect sense to me. Denise and her fellow rocket scientists have it all figured out when every law enforcement person in all of these agencies couldn’t. Maybe they should apply at the Department of Justice or NASA. We need really smart people like them.

    • An Observer says:

      How sad you have enslaved yourself in your own mind. If we are still living in “slavery time,” who is your master?

  2. Spectator says:

    The amount of folks living around here that are still in denial about all of this is disturbing. Had the facts been different in this case the law would have ruled in favor of the young mans parents. In this case the facts were not present and the law ruled in favor of the defendants. Fair is fair. The law ruled in favor of the facts, not in favor of anything else.

  3. Rex Reed says:

    This is a sad day in the history of Valdosta and the world. The Bell’s, his two sons and 35 state and local officials were proven to be falsely accused of either directly causing or covered up the cause of Johnson’s death. The best prosecution doesn’t set in-stone an outcome you believe is what happened and then find supporting evidence. All the evidence has to support the case, not just pieces of it. You follow the truth and discovery was missed in a couple of instances due to the very nature of this type of law suit.

    Denise Jackson, we are NOT still living in slavery times. The Republican party abolished slavery under President Lincoln, study the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Abolition of Slavery (1865).

    • Denise Jackson says:

      Rex Reed – I do know a piece of paper is saying. But not everything you read or live is always fact. I lived through the 50 and 60 and not that much as changed. Now you go back Re-read the constitution and other laws. What do they really mean and what are the really saying. Open up your eyes

    • Jas says:

      Trust..we, The Black race, African Americans, etc are still living under a form of oppression, slavery,implemented yet by the white race. Yes it was abolished and that means what? Not speaking to this case in general but in everyday life we face many injustices because of the color of our skin. With you possibly being of the white race I expect you to lack understanding and live in denial.

  4. justice served says:

    The ONLY form of slavery that exists in this country is welfare. Its the one tool that the white man uses to control blacks, right or wrong….. its the truth. Instead of remaining slaves, maybe we should turn in our EBT cards and not cash our checks next month. That’ll show ’em

    • who do we blame now? says:

      excellent idea maybe then my hard earned money wont go to the sorry unemployed and un-WILLING to be employed menaces to society.

    • will says:

      Well ,you signed up for it . Nobody
      Asked you to get on welfare .you applied for it

  5. Guest182 says:

    I’m glad the lawyer has to participate in the payment. He continued to fan the flames, waiting on the big payout.

    • Spectator says:

      Yep. It was his burden and responsibility to guide the family in accordance with the facts of the case.

  6. I feel that we should all just join hands, and sing a song, and get along.

  7. So Sad123 says:

    This is sooo sad! Every1 can see that this child was murdered! At the end of the day a child was lost and sadly taken from his family & friends. Any1 white, black, yellow, brown or red would want justice for their love one. I know if the shoe was on the other foot and who ever did what they did to that child they would want the same!!!! Justice! I’m praying for everyone in this situation because that person or group of people will have to answer to God! As they say whats done in the dark will come to light and karma omg that karma is nothing to play with!

  8. Let Me Tell Ya says:

    Your darn-tootin’ they wouldn’t put up with this mess in Rebecca Ga. Darn-tootin’ they wouldn’t. Don’t even mention it.