Sons of Confederate Veterans Sues DeKalb County & City of Decatur for Wrongful Removal of Confederate Monument
The Georgia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and the Confederate Memorial Camp #1432 as well as several SCV members living in DeKalb County have filed suit on June 16, 2021 to seek the return of the Confederate Monument to the Decatur Courthouse Square.
The Monument was removed in the dead of night on June 18, 2020 after now-retired Judge Clarence Seeliger issued an order finding the Obelisk to be a “nuisance.”
The initial lawsuit was filed on June 10, 2020 by the Decatur City Attorney against DeKalb County alleging that the century-old monument was a “nuisance” and requesting its removal. DeKalb County did not file an answer and only two days later Judge Seeliger held a video conference between the parties and issued an order that very day. No one had an opportunity to file for intervention nor did DeKalb defend against the suit.
This action bears many of the hallmarks of a collusive lawsuit and, as such, should be held to be void on its face and set aside.
Other defects include the fact that the judge made no findings of fact. The order held that the Monument was a “public nuisance.” Yet, Georgia law expressly defines a public nuisance as one that damages all persons. The monument, while offensive to some, clearly does not damage all persons.
Additionally, the removal was in contravention to O.C.G.A. §50-3-1 which protects Georgia’s monuments such as the Obelisk on the Courthouse Square in Decatur.
The other defects in the Court’s order are more fully laid out in the Complaint, a copy of which is attached.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans have filed suit against cities and counties around the State who have acted in defiance of Georgia’s monument protection law.
Because there was no opportunity to act before the “rush to judgement” and the removal of the monument, the Sons of Confederate Veterans concentrated its litigation efforts on areas where the monuments were generally still standing. But now the SCV is going back to file to restore monuments that have already been illegally removed. DeKalb County is the first such case and an especially important one. Decatur and DeKalb counties actions have been cited in several venues as an example of a legitimate means by the “Cancel Culture” to censor history. This lawsuit should expose the falsity of these claims.
The return of the Confederate Memorial Obelisk to its place of prominence and honor on the Decatur Courthouse Square will send a message around the state and nation vindicating our laws.
For further information contact:
Martin K. O’Toole
Spokesman, Georgia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc.