CHARLESTON – A civil suit filed in Kanawha magistrate court over an allegedly stolen dog has been moved to circuit court.

Candice Dotson of Charleston originally sued Tim Williams of Scarbro in magistrate court in November. Dotson claimed that Williams was in possession of her stolen dog, Colonel, and refused to give it back.

But Williams claims he was given the dog by a friend who said the dog needed a good home.

Williams claims the dog ran away in August 2008 and moved for the case to be moved to circuit court because Dotson won't stop harassing him over the dog.

The transfer was approved on March 23. The case is set for a hearing April 30 before Kanawha Circuit Judge James Stucky.

In her original complaint in magistrate court, Dotson sought the return of Colonel. In the alternative, she wanted $5,000 for her pain and suffering and to cover the costs of getting a new dog.

Williams in December filed an answer to the complaint, saying friends in Sissonville called him and asked if he would take the dog in the summer of 2008. He said he picked up the dog and took it to his Fayette County home.

About a month later, he got a call from one of the friends who said a Kanawha magistrate wanted to talk to him about the dog. Williams said he called the magistrate, whom he did not identify, and the magistrate asked him about the dog and where it was. The magistrate then asked if Dotson could call him about the dog and Williams agreed, according to his answer.

Dotson called and said one of the people who gave him the dog actually stole it from her. But Williams claims that person said Dotson intended to put the dog to sleep if she couldn't find a home for it.

Dotson wanted the dog back, Williams said. He refused. Dotson then asked if she could come down to see the dog and Williams said he told Dotson that she was "under no circumstances" to come to his home. Dotson kept telling Williams that it would be best for her to let her come and see the dog, Williams' answer said.

After a few telephone calls, Williams said Dotson agreed to let him keep the dog. A week later, Dotson left a telephone message for Williams that allegedly said that "her and her mom had thought it over and they were coming to get the dog, and she said she knew where (Williams) lived."

Williams said he saved that message.

Williams claims he called Dotson back and told her that unless he had something in writing saying that the dog was stolen or a court order, he was keeping the dog. He says he then told her never to call again and to not come to his property.

Dotson's boyfriend then called and left a message making threats to Williams, his answer says. Williams says he saved that message, too, and called the boyfriend and told him the same thing he told Dotson.

In August, Williams says, Colonel ran away and never came back. Williams says he looked for the dog in earnest, going as far as to make up fliers announcing that the dog was missing. But the dog never came back.

Williams, along with his answer, filed a counterclaim against Dotson seeking $2,713 for lost wages, gasoline and tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike, emotional aggravation and bills related to the care of the dog.

His request to move the case from magistrate court – along with the $145 fee – came in February.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-507

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