Robertson County General Sessions Court Judge Joel Perry has dismissed Springfield Alderman Clay Sneed's lawsuit seeking financial records from the Robertson County Chamber of Commerce.
On Thursday, Oct. 5, Judge Perry told Sneed he does not have the authority to rule on the case and that Sneed would have to take his action to another courtroom.
"I'm going to dismiss this case here," Perry said. "If you wish to proceed, that would be filed in Chancery Court."
The decision followed a motion filed by the chamber's attorney Jonathan Garner, who pointed out that Sneed's case should be filed in a court of record, not General Sessions Court.
"There is no jurisdiction with the General Sessions Court," Garner told Judge Perry. "We would ask that this action be dismissed before Your Honor this morning."
Sneed filed the suit in an effort to obtain financial records from the Robertson County Chamber of Commerce.
In the civil summons filed against the chamber in July, Sneed described a "Refusal to provide the 'books and accounts' as prescribed (are) 'available to the membership' per the Chamber of Commerce By-Laws, article 8, section 6 for the reason it is the possession of the accountant."
In the by-laws of the chamber, the noted section reads:
SECTION 6. The Executive Committee shall cause to be reviewed annually the books and accounts of the Chamber at the close of business for the fiscal year, and report its findings to the Board of Directors and make the same available to the membership. All recommendations for expenditures outside the budget shall be submitted to the Executive Committee whose recommendations shall be submitted to the Board.
The document submitted to the court did not specify the information Sneed had requested.
The Robertson County Chamber of Commerce had an overall income of $462,705 in Fiscal Year 2016-17, according to its annual unaudited financial statement. Expenditures were reported at $459,730.
The chamber receives $16,000 annually from the City of Springfield.
Following Thursday's dismissal, Sneed said he plans to proceed and file action in Chancery Court.