CLAYTON — A Johnston County judicial district manager’s request for a restraining order against one of her employees has been denied., a probation officer, who she believed had plans to kill her. A judge will decide later this month whether the officer will be repaid for legal costs he incurred.
Judicial district manager Joyce James, of Smithfield, filed for a restraining order stating that probation officer Jeffrey Mackvick, of Clayton, told his psychologist that he had plans to kill her. James filed for the restraining order November 26 at the Johnston County courthouse in Smithfield. She wrote that on November 20, Mackvick told his psychologist “that he had plans to take my life with his gun on that day,” according to court documents.
A judge issued a temporary no-contact order against Mackvick for stalking or nonconsensual sexual conduct.
At a hearing Nov. 30, District Court Judge R. Dale Stubbs rescinded the no contact order because there were “no grounds for alleged stalking.”
Court documents show that there was one occasion of alleged stalking, but not more than one. According to Mackvick’s attorney, Walter Schmidlin, “there’s no case because the statute is very clear, it has to be on more than one occasion.”
Schmidlin wrote in court documents that the action was brought against Mackvick for an “improper purpose” since James provided no “good faith argument” for granting a restraining order.
During the time Mackvick had to obey the temporary restraining order prior to the court hearing, he was unable to attend work for a week, since his office is in the same building as James’ office. He was forced to stay out of his office and use his paid time off. He is still on personal leave, according to Keith Acree, spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.
The case will go to court again December 21 when a judge will decide whether James will be required to pay for Mackvick’s attorney fees. His attorney fees totalled $2,100.
This isn’t the first time James has been concerned about her employees’ actions against her.
The potted plant
In the summer of 2006, when James worked as a probation supervisor in Harnett County, she ordered an investigation to find out who had knocked over a plant in her office. The regional manager, James R. Fullwood, assigned probation managers from Burlington and Roxboro to investigate. They spent two days on the road, conducted 21 interviews and produced a two-page report that concluded: “It is undetermined as to whom or how the plant located in chief probation/parole officer James’ office got overturned.”
James had a lock installed on her office door to prevent future security breaches. She has since been promoted to judicial district manager, serving Johnston, Lee and Harnett counties.
Attempts to reach James for comment were unsuccessful.
According to Acree, James is a “non-exempt” employee, meaning that she would not be subject to replacement when the new governor is inaugurated.