Aug. 11-RANDOLPH COUNTY - One of two federal lawsuits saying that the Randolph County Jail violated inmates' civil rights by forbidding nearly all printed reading material has been dismissed.
Franklin Kyle Willis filed the lawsuit against Sheriff Greg Seabolt and Maj. Phillip Cheek in U.S. District Court in Greensboro in October.
Willis was held in the jail awaiting trial in May 2021 when jail staff confiscated all printed reading material except for the Bible.
The attorneys for Seabolt and the other defendants argued among other things that the lawsuit should be dismissed because Willis did not exhaust his options in the jail's grievance procedures. Federal law requires inmates to exhaust those options before filing a lawsuit.
Willis never filed a response to that argument, though Willis notified the court in March that he had received no correspondence at all about his case since Jan. 31 and that he had been moved to a jail in Salisbury.
Because Willis filed no evidence by the court's deadline that he had exhausted his grievance options at the jail, Magistrate Judge Joe L. Webster of U.S. District Court in Durham ordered last week that the lawsuit be dismissed.
A separate lawsuit by another jail inmate, Austin Joshua Nance, was still pending on Wednesday. Defense attorneys in that case also have argued that Nance filed the lawsuit before exhausting his grievance options.