Despite an order by the Newton County Superior Court to cease its operation, a scrap metal yard on Roseberry Road appears to still be in business.
In August, Jay's Recycling was ordered by Superior Court Judge Eugene Benton to cease and desist its operations immediately after the county won a lawsuit against the business. In the lawsuit, the county claimed that Jay's Recycling did not conform to county zoning ordnance and was a public nuisance.
According to Judge Benton's order, Jay's Recycling owner James Sharpshair and his co-defendant, Wayne Maloney, now deceased, were prohibited from "any and all recycling, scrap metal or junkyard business including but not limited to purchasing, storing, crushing, piling, processing, and transporting scrap metals, old cars, appliances and other commodities from, to and at 59 and 83 Roseberry Road."
Despite the court's order it did not appear that the business had closed Friday evening when at approximately 5 p.m. a large tractor trailer truck pulled up to the gates of Jay's Recycling bearing a load of yellow storage bins. From Roseberry Road it appeared that there were approximately 15 similar storage bins on the property.
Though much of the scrap metal which formerly towered above the ground had been cleared away and the noises and odors that previously permeated the air of Roseberry Road were gone, it was evident that some type of business was still taking place at Jay's Recycling.
According to Roseberry Road Resident Robert Sullivan, who lives directly across the street from Jay's Recycling, several trailer trucks pull up to the business' gates each day carrying storage bins.
Paul Autry, another resident of Roseberry Road whose property adjoins Jay's Recyling, said that despite the court order to clean up the property it still looked "junky." Autry claimed that Sharpshair was now handling industrial scrap metal on the property.
"He has failed to clean the fill out and he has converted his operation," Autry said. "There's not a lot of noise but there's a nuisance with the fill still being full of yellow bins. He's still operating off the property after the judge told him he could not."
A laminated sign affixed to the gates of Jay's Recycling reads, "To our valued customers: As of on Monday, August 13, 2007, the courts of Newton County ruled that our business is in violation of zoning laws. Judge Benton will not allow us as a business to buy, process, load, transport or sell any material at this time."
The sign, signed by Sharpshair, went on to say that he was in the process of appealing Benton's order and was asking the court to allow him to reopen and was seeking to take the case to a higher court.
In response to the apparent continued operation of Jay's Recycling, the county has filed a motion of contempt against Jay's Recycling. A court date to hear the matter has been set for Jan. 28.
"We've filed a motion to try to stop any activity that is going on," said James Griffin, an attorney for Newton County who is assisting with the case.
Attorneys for Sharpshair could not be reached for comment as of press time
In the response filed to the county's motion for contempt, Sharpshair's attorney Simon Bloom writes that the county cannot meet its burden of showing "willful and intentional violations of the court's orders."
The response states that Benton's order "failed to effectively communicate the prohibited acts and literally made everything the defendants did a violation."
According to the response, Jay's Recycling was left in a catch-22 situation as it was prohibited from storing the scrap material currently on the property and from transporting that same scrap material off of the property.
The response also states that if the court finds that a violation has occurred it should disregard the county's request for damages and attorneys' fees.
Mandi Singer contributed to this report.