Attorneys for Winston-Salem deny allegations in a lawsuit that its police department enabled a lender and company to seize church – WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL

John Hinton – Winston-Salem Journal

Attorneys for the City of Winston-Salem have denied allegations in a federal lawsuit that the police department enabled a lender and a property management company to illegally seize a local church and evict its pastor, her staff and dozens of children from the church’s property last year.

City Attorney Angela Carmon and Assistant City Attorney Marissa West filed Winston-Salem’s response Aug. 15 in U.S District Court to the lawsuit, which was filed two months ago by the Christ Kingdom Building Worship Center and its pastor, Ellen Wallace-Searcy of Winston-Salem.

The church and Wallace-Searcy are suing the church’s former lender, LBC2 Trust, its affiliate, LBC2 REO, and a property management company, One Alliance Cos. of Cornelius and their employees, alleging that they violated the church’s legal rights.

James C. White of Chapel Hill, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, said the actions of LBC2 REO were wrong.

“They needed to give 10 days (of) notice to the church and by law had to go through the eviction process,” White said. “They didn’t. Instead they called the Winston-Salem Police Department to assist them in illegally removing the pastor, the staff, and dozens of children from the property.”

One of the lawsuit’s allegations is that a “One Alliance representative said she feared for her safety so she called the Winston-Salem Police Department,” White has said. “This wouldn’t have been done with a white church or another business.”

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Jim White
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Jim White helps people and companies facing serious financial injury by bringing and defending lawsuits and representing debtors in bankruptcy. He has successfully taken on banks, large financial institutions and other corporations in “David v. Goliath” cases. You can reach him at 919-246-4676.