Town motion asks court to throw out Juris lawsuit


June 24, 2009
Last week, Gilford submitted a motion to throw out the lawsuit of Evans Juris, the former Gilford town administrator who claims he was wrongfully fired.

"If it goes through in its entirety then that will be the end if the case," said current Gilford Town Administrator Scott Dunn. "If it is not approved then it will go to trial."

Juris, while town administrator, sent a letter to the press on March 7, 2008 claiming a hostile work environment and discriminatory practices. Juris was relieved from his position the following week by a 2-1 vote of the Board of Selectmen. Former selectman Alice Boucher was chairman of the board at the time. Boucher opposed the removal of Juris but was outvoted by current chairman Gus Benavides and then Selectman Connie Grant.

"You should clearly know you have placed a great deal of unjustified stress on me and my immediate family members relative to my continued job status with the town," wrote Juris in the original letter. "I have served three Boards in my brief tenure as Town Administrator and had no issues until March of 2007."

In October 2008 Juris filed a wrongful termination suit against the town of Gilford, and the town responded with a defense brief denying any wrongful action.

"Defendant (Gilford) acted reasonably and in good faith toward Plaintiff (Juris)," reads the brief filed Dec. 4, 2008, "and implemented legitimate business practices and procedures regarding Plaintiff's employment."

The brief raised many defense points on behalf of the town. Gilford denied all liability and damage allegations, state that they complied with all applicable laws and policies, the actions of the town were not malicious, wanton or made in unlawful retaliation. Gilford also contended that damages, if any, were caused solely or in substantial part to Juris's own actions.

It is on the points raised in their brief that the town filed the motion to dismiss. The basis for the motion filed on June 15 states there is no basis for a lawsuit, and in the interest of taxpayer time and money the town requests the court approve their motion. It is still unknown when the court will act on the motion.

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