CHARLESTON – A Charleston attorney has filed a civil lawsuit against a prominent car dealer, accusing him trespassing and assault.
The car dealer, however, denies the allegations.
John W. Alderman III filed his complaint Sept. 5 against Joseph B. Holland Jr., who owns Joe Holland Chevrolet in South Charleston and other auto dealerships.
Alderman says Holland, who lives in the same Charleston neighborhood, illegally entered his home and garage on the night of Sept. 3. He claims Holland was carrying a large flashlight, which was turned off. Alderman says he and his minor children were in the garage.
“The plaintiff repeatedly instructed the defendant to leave the family garage and to exit the plaintiff’s family residence,” the complaint states. “Instead of leaving, the defendant repeatedly assaulted and battered the plaintiff and placed the minor children in fear of harm.”
Alderman says Holland entered his garage “in a rage, screaming and refusing to leave.” He says he had to use self-defense to remove Holland from his property.
“The conduct of the defendant caused physical harm to the plaintiff and created fear in the minor children,” the complaint states. “The conduct of the defendant has caused and will continue to cause irreparable harm to the plaintiff and plaintiff’s minor children.”
Alderman obtained a temporary restraining order against Holland, preventing him from entering Alderman’s property or contacting him.
“The plaintiff has previously been required to contact law enforcement as a result of the defendant’s past unlawful conduct and harassment,” the complaint states. “The defendant previously has been caught trespassing upon the plaintiff’s property.
“The defendant has engaged in a past and current pattern of harassment toward the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s minor children which includes but is not limited to (a) prior trespassing upon the plaintiff’s property, (b) harassment, (c) assault, (d) battery [and] (e) illegal removal of plaintiff’s property.”
Alderman accuses Holland of assault and battery causing personal injury, unlawful entry and trespass. He seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction preventing Holland from harassing or contacting him or his children, from entering Alderman’s property and from being within 400 feet of his children at any time.
When contacted by phone, Alderman declined further comment on the matter except to say his “primary concern is to get a restraining order to keep him away from my kids, my family and my home.”
Holland, on the other hand, calls Alderman’s lawsuit baseless and “the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Holland said he did walk onto Alderman’s property to ask him to stop shooting fireworks onto his property for the Labor Day weekend. Holland said Alderman had done so on the Fourth of July and that it took him two days to clean all of the related debris out of his pool.
“I thought I’d catch him early,” Holland told The West Virginia Record. “He denied shooting them intentionally onto my property. Then, he got in my face, literally nose to nose. He said, ‘Don’t come onto my property and get into my face. Do you understand? I’m not shooting fireworks onto your property. You’re trespassing, and I want you to get the F off my property. Get the F off my F’ing property right now.’”
Holland says Alderman then knocked him down both hands, knocking off his glasses.
“Then, he comes over and begins to kick me like a rabid, crazy man,” Holland said. “He kicked me three times. His two sons are standing there the entire time saying, ‘Stop, dad! Stop!’
“They restrained him while I got up, got my glasses and left. I went home to call the police, but he already had called them.”
Holland said Alderman has been harassing him for more than two years.
“I think the guy is obsessed with irritating me and making me miserable,” Holland said. “And he’s done a pretty good job of it. Yes, we called the police on him on the Fourth of July for shooting fireworks onto my property.
“But this, he’s totally making up a completely untrue story to the police and in his lawsuit. He practices law and makes up stories like this. I just can’t believe it.”
Alderman had his law license suspended in 2012 for two years (one retroactively following his voluntary withdrawal from legal practice) following multiple arrests on drug charges in 2009 for possession of pills without prescriptions and crack cocaine. He also had been arrested in 2006 for attempting to obtain a prescription by forgery.
“His history as an honest person isn’t too good,” Holland said. “He’s behaving in a way of a man who still has issues.”
Alderman, who is representing himself in the case against Holland, also seeks a restraining order as well as consequential, compensatory and punitive damages. He also requests attorney fees, pre- and post-judgment interest and damages for annoyance and inconvenience.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number 18-C-1128