Judge Throws Out Lawsuit Seeking To Re-Erect Pittsboro Confederate Monument

Dec 3, 2019

A judge has thrown out a United Daughters of the Confederacy lawsuit that sought to re-erect a Confederate monument by Pittsboro's historic courthouse. The statue was first installed in 1907.
Credit Leoneda Inge / WUNC

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy that sought to re-erect a Confederate monument in Chatham County. The statue was removed last month from its home in front of Pittsboro's historic courthouse. 

The UDC first sued Chatham County when commissioners said they would remove the statue in November. After a few weeks of court battles, crews took it down. The UDC has held to their argument that the statue should be protected under a North Carolina law that bans the removal of public monuments. That controversial law, enacted in 2015, has been at the center of battles over the removal of other Confederate monuments, including the Silent Sam statue that once stood on University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s campus. 

In the latest lawsuit over the Pittsboro monument, the judge sided with the county, whose lawyer argued the statue still belongs to the UDC, and the county can declare it a public trespass.

It's not yet clear whether the UDC will appeal the ruling. For now, the statue is in storage and Chatham County says it will hand the monument over when the UDC decides on its new home.