Judge Enters Default Judgment in Nash County Nuisance Case

ROCKY MOUNT –  Superior Court Judge Quentin Sumner has entered a default judgment against the Ashburn Inn, 7531 NC Highway 48, Battleboro. The property is owned and operated by NEELA, LLC. This judgment is the latest step in a civil nuisance abatement case brought by Nash County on behalf of the State of North Carolina. The case was a joint investigation by agents with the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Branch and the Nash County Sheriff’s Office.

“The Ashburn Inn has a long history of prostitution, drug use, and breaches of the peace that have substantially deteriorated the Gold Rock community,” said J. Batten, special agent in charge of ALE’s Nuisance Abatement Team.

On June 6, Judge Quentin Sumner issued a preliminary injunction as a result of a civil complaint filed alleging violations of North Carolina Nuisance Abatement laws. The injunction forced the Ashburn Inn to close until trial. Since that time, the owners of the motel have not responded to the lawsuit; therefore, allowing a judge to enter a default judgment placing perpetual restrictions on the property.

“Motels such as this do not serve the community at large; instead, they offer cheap housing for criminals to operate their illegal businesses,” said Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone. “It is our job to show these individuals that criminal acts will not be tolerated, and law enforcement agencies will continue to work to do whatever is necessary to clean up our communities.” 

Under the terms of the judgment, the owners of the Ashburn Inn, along with any future owners of the property, are prohibited from operating a nuisance as defined by Chapter 19 of the N.C. General Statutes at this location. Furthermore, NEELA LLC and its corporate members are prohibited from operating a nuisance property anywhere in North Carolina. 

According to Batten, it is not uncommon for older motels to become long term or often permanent lodging facilities, instead of serving as their original intended purpose.

“Often, these motels become a hub for criminal activity due to their low cost and state of disrepair,” said Batten. “This judgment will ensure the safety of both Nash County citizens and the motoring public along the I-95 corridor in the Gold Rock area.”


Editor’s Note: For more information, contact Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone at 252-459-4121.