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Appeal dismissed, trial still on for health officer's suit against Ottawa County Board of Commissioners

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Posted at 8:19 AM, May 16, 2023

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — The case between Ottawa County Health Officer, Adeline Hambley and members of the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners is still headed to trial— at least for now.

You’ll remember Hambley was demoted from her position as Ottawa County Health Officer to 'Interim' Health Officer earlier this year during the County’s Board of Commission restructuring.

A judge in Muskegon County ruled a trial would need to be held to determine the legitimacy of the Board’s decision and granted Hambley a preliminary injunction—meaning she could keep her job for the time-being.

Attorneys for the Board filed an appeal and a motion to expedite with Michigan’s Court of Appeals on May 1.

On May 2, COA Chief Judge Elizabeth L. Gleicher dismissed attempts by lawyers for the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners to stop the impending trial, saying (as the trial hasn’t happened) they had no jurisdiction to rule on the appeal.

A trial court's determination that an order is final is not controlling for purposes of this Court's jurisdiction.
Faircloth v Family Independence Agency, 232 Mich App 391,400; 591 NW2d 314 (1998)

The appeal was dismissed without prejudice, however, meaning the judge found legal errors in the original appeal. This could leave room for follow-up appeal attempts.

FOX 17 has reached out to members of both sides of the suit and will update our reporting should they decide to comment.