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Construction Defect Not a RICO Case, Says Court

August 4, 2011 — CDJ Staff

The US District Court of North Carolina has rejected an attempt by a homeowner to restart her construction defect claim by turning it into a RICO lawsuit. Linda Sharp, the plaintiff in the case of Sharp v. Town of Kitty Hawk, attempted to amend a claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and argued that her case belonged in the federal courts.

Ms. Sharp sued in November, 2010 claiming construction defects. She sued in federal court, although the court noted that as she and most of the defendants are citizens of North Carolina, the state court would have been the appropriate jurisdiction. Further, the court noted that one federal claim Sharp made was dismissed with prejudice, leaving only the state law claims. These the court dismissed without prejudice, declining to exercise jurisdiction over North Carolina law.

After the dismissal, Ms. Sharp attempted to amend her complaint after the deadline. To do so, according to the court, she would be required to obtain consent from defendants or leave of the court. She did neither.

In his opinion, Judge W. Earl Britt rejected her motion for leave to amend. He also granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss. The clerk was directed to close the case.

Read the court’s decision…

Construction Defect Not a RICO Case, Says Court