UPDATED: Yo Gotti’s $6.6 million judgment upheld

Memphis rapper Yo Gotti walks out of a Forsyth County Courtroom on Monday, June 24.

UPDATED: Yo Gotti’s $6.6 million judgment upheld
June 26
09:18 2019

About a month after the initial ruling, Forsyth County Superior Court Judge Todd Burke upheld a ruling ordering Memphis rapper Yo Gotti to pay a local talent manager $6.6 million.

During the initial trial on May 28, Judge Burke ruled that Yo Gotti engaged in “unfair and deceptive trade practices” in his dealings with Michael Terry, a local talent and event manager, and recording artist Young Fletcher. Although legal representation was not present for the trial, Yo Gotti was ordered to pay $6.6 million in damages to Terry. The original ruling was $2.2 million, but the N.C. Statute that pertains to unfair and deceptive businesses practices gives judges the power to triple the amount.

According to reports, Terry paid Yo Gotti, whose legal name is Mario Mims, $20,000 to appear on a song with Lamont Fletcher, who performs under the moniker Young Fletcher. Terry says after recording the verse for the song with Fletcher and agreeing to promote the song, Yo Gotti never signed paperwork allowing the song to be released and recorded the verse on a different song. Terry also said Mims tried to persuade Fletcher to leave him and join his record label, Collective Music Group, also known as CMG.

On Monday, June 28, Yo Gotti and his team of attorneys found the time to make their way to the Forsyth County Courthouse.  Yo Gotti and his attorneys, James Cooney and Brent Powell, argued that he was never served with the legal documents with Terry’s complaints, therefore he had no way to defend himself. Representatives for Yo Gotti also argued that the song was released and currently has 29,000 views on YouTube.

Terry’s attorneys said that after trying to serve Yo Gotti with the lawsuit multiple times through his lawyers, they decided to deliver the documents personally.

After his performance at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds on March 6, 2018, Sgt. Joel Gilbertson with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office approached Yo Gotti as he was leaving. After extending his arm to hand Yo Gotti the papers, Lamont Wynne, a hired security guard, took the papers and walked away.

While on the stand, Sgt. Gilbertson said, “When I went to serve Mr. Mims, I was stopped by his bodyguards or security detail.” Gilbertson said after announcing “I have a civil paper for you,” someone reached in front of Yo Gotti and took the papers.

Yo Gotti denies ever even coming in contact with Sgt. Gilbertson. While on the stand, Yo Gotti said he didn’t know anything about the lawsuit until he saw it on social media three weeks ago.

When Terry’s attorney, Clarke Dummit, questioned Yo Gotti, he continued to refer to an affidavit where Yo Gotti gives his account of what happened on May 6. In the affidavit, Yo Gotti only accounts for the time period when he was leaving the stage and walking to his car, the same time Sgt. Gilbertson said he approached him. Dummit argued that he only focused on that time period because he knew exactly when he received the lawsuit.

When Wynne took the stand, he said he recalled taking the papers from Gilbertson but he didn’t know they were legal documents. Wynne said, “He said he had papers for Mario.”

Wynne said after taking the papers from Gilbertson and leaving the area, Yo Gotti got in a different vehicle and he never gave him the legal documents. Wynne said if he knew they were court documents, he would have given them to Yo Gotti’s manager.

In the end Judge Burke didn’t see enough to overturn the ruling. Although they declined to comment while leaving the courtroom, Yo Gotti’s attorneys did mention an appeal.

When asked about Burke’s decision outside the courtroom, Dummit said, “Slam dunk for us.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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