Greenbrier Sporting Club case reassigned over personal connection to judge, hearing date set

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV

The case involving the potential sale of the Greenbrier Sporting Club by Carter Bank & Trust to recoup some $300 million in debt owed by Justice Companies took another turn this week. 

Originally assigned to Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dent, the case was reassigned to Circuit Court Judge Robert Richardson. According to an order on file with the Circuit Clerk, Judge Dent’s office sought the reassignment as her husband is employed at the Sporting Club. 

The order states, “The spouse of the Honorable Jennifer P. Dent is employed…to oversee assignment of caddies on the golf courses of The Greenbrier Resort and The Greenbrier Sporting Club. Given the employment of the Judge’s spouse, and pursuant to Rule 1.2 of the West Virginia Code of Judicial Conduct which requires judges avoid the appearance of impropriety, it is hereby ORDERED and ADJUDGED that this matter be reassigned to The Honorable Robert E. Richardson, Chief Circuit Judge, for further proceedings herein.”

Consequently, the first hearing date was established by Judge Richardson for April 12 at 9am. Lawyers for the Justice Companies are seeking a temporary injunction to stop the sale of the Sporting Club and its “shared properties” which include the golf course, lodges, and restaurants. 

As previously reported, Carter contends those assets were pledged as collateral when Justice Companies secured loans. Justice’s filings do not appear to dispute that, but members of the Sporting Club argue that as equity owners they alone hold the rights to the “shared properties,” not Justice Companies. Carter originally filed notice of a sale for early March, but that date has been delayed due to a flurry of legal maneuvers occurring since. 

Justice Companies contend in their previous filing that, “The effect would not be limited to the Sporting Club. The Greenbrier itself would be seriously damaged…Local jobs will be lost. And the foundation of Greenbrier County’s economy will suffer damage that will be difficult or impossible to repair.”

They are seeking a jury trial in Greenbrier County. But as the reassignment of the judge shows, many residents in the small community have direct ties to the resort or club. 

Stay tuned to RealWV for further updates. 


Related stories

Give us your feedback