Final Judgment Ordered in Pitt County Nuisance Case


GREENVILLE – Superior Court Judge Jeffery Foster has entered two judgments in reference to a Chapter 19 Nuisance Abatement action involving 1421 Hillsdale St., Greenville. This action began Aug. 21, as county and state officials alleged this property, last known as Club Flavuz, was a consistent haven for criminal activity.

The defendants in this case were the owners of the property, Albert Ray Atkinson and Annie Bell Atkinson, and the operator of the nightclub, John Acklin. Chapter 19 of the N.C. General Statutes defines a public nuisance, and allows for a civil remedy to abate such nuisance activities.

“This location has been a problem for more than 30 years, constantly draining law enforcement resources and reducing the quality of life for members of this small community,” said Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks. “This long overdue solution is a result of an outstanding joint effort between Pitt County officials and members of the ALE Nuisance Abatement Team.”

Today, in the final step involving this action, Judge Foster issued a summary judgment against defendant John Acklin. This judgment permanently prohibits John Acklin from operating or maintaining a public nuisance anywhere within the jurisdiction of the State of North Carolina. Additionally, Defendant John Acklin was ordered to pay costs associated with the investigation that spanned nearly six months.         

Prior to today’s summary judgment, Judge Foster entered a consent judgment with the Atkinsons. Under the terms of the consent judgment, the property is effectually closed, and may never be used again as a club or similar gathering place. The owner of the property is prohibited from operating a nuisance at this location or anywhere in North Carolina.  In addition, this judgment prohibits the possession of alcoholic beverages on the property, and limits the number of people allowed on the property for one year following the date of the judgment.  After this time, no business may be operated at this location between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Pitt County Attorney Janis Gallagher, who handled the matter on behalf of the county expressed gratitude for the effort and outcome.

“I sincerely appreciate the cooperation and reasonableness of the property owners, the Atkinsons, in allowing for a timely and successful resolution that mandated closure of the business,” Gallagher said. “Today’s judgment against the final defendant will improve the quality of life for residents in Pitt County.”

The investigation and information gathered for this lawsuit was a joint effort between members of the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office and members of Alcohol Law Enforcement's Nuisance Abatement Team.

“We are extremely pleased to offer assistance to our law enforcement partners in these nuisance cases,” said Josh Batten, ALE’s assistant special agent in charge of the Nuisance Abatement Team. “This judgment brings much needed change to a community negatively impacted for decades.”                   

Editor’s Note: For more information, contact Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks at (252) 902-28000.