Court upholds dismissal of lawsuit

MAYFIELD — An appeal to overturn the ruling from the Fulton County Supreme Court was affirmed, keeping the lower court’s decision intact.

The appeal was filed by Marjorie Jones, who is one of the two town justices for Mayfield.

Jones had filed an initial lawsuit asking for additional compensation from the town after she did not take advantage of a health benefit package offered for her role as town justice.

Her lawsuit was denied, so Jones filed an appeal against the court’s decision to dismiss the complaint. Jones claimed the denial violated the town law.

Affirmed is defined as that the court of appeals has concluded that lower court decision is correct and will stand as rendered by the lower court.

Therefore, the Fulton County Supreme Court’s decision stands and the case is dismissed.

According to the appeal, in May 2017, Jones sent a letter to the town supervisor formally requesting additional compensation.

Jones was elected as town justice for Mayfield in 2004. Both her and the second town justice, John Papa, have the same requirements and receive an identical annual salary, and are both offered the same opportunity to participate in the town’s employee health insurance plan.

“While [Papa] has elected to participate in this plan, [Jones] chose not to and, in lieu of receiving health benefits, made unsuccessful requests seeking additional compensation equal to the cost to the town of [Papa’s] health insurance coverage,” the appeal stated.

Jones claimed she was being compensated less than Papa which, violated town law. The town denied her request for additional compensation.

She then filed for declaratory judgment action and the Supreme Court found her claim to be without merit and dismissed the complaint, which led to the appeal. The appeal was affirmed.

“The fact that [Jones] has chosen to forgo participating in this plan does not transform the town’s contribution towards the plan of [Papa] — who did choose to participate — into some form of salary differential forbidden under town law,” the appeal states. “Accordingly we agree with the Supreme Court that respondents’ denial of petitioner’s request for additional compensation did not violate town law.”

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