Protection order sought by commissioner denied

Published 1:27 pm Tuesday, November 20, 2018

A case involving Lawrence County Commission President Bill Pratt seeking a civil protection order against attorney JT Holt was dismissed Monday in the court of Magistrate D.L. McWhorter.

Pratt alleged that Holt sent him a series of threatening text messages, as well as that Holt approached him in an “aggressive manner” and began to cuss and threaten him physically at the Collins Career Technical Center’s annual hog roast earlier this year.

“The civil protection order wasn’t granted based on there not being enough evidence,” Pratt said. “I don’t necessarily agree with that judgment, but what I really aimed to do was to inform the public that you can do something if you’re being bullied.”

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Holt has denied Pratt’s allegations since the start of the legal proceedings, and said that the incident was “just another step in line of political attacks against him by some members of the Lawrence County Republican Party.”

“It was completely obvious to the court that Mr. Pratt was attempting to settle a personal political score by misusing a process, a very important process, that was designed to protect the victims of domestic violence,” Holt said, adding that Pratt had displayed irrational behavior lately “and it was clear that he didn’t understand what he was actually doing.”

Holt also added that the case was dismissed before he even had a chance to present his side through evidence.

Pratt said that although the ruling didn’t go his way, the case was a way to show people to stand up to bullies.

“I represented myself through this,” Pratt said. “And even if it doesn’t go your way, I wanted to show that it can make a difference.”