5 On Your Side

Nash County woman waits 2 years without action on divorce

Posted April 29, 2008

— Karen Moss has accomplished a lot in a busy two years, going back to school and working two jobs. But two years after hiring an attorney, Moss still isn’t divorced.

In North Carolina, a couple must be separated for one year before getting divorced. After that, and once key points are decided, the process shouldn't take long to finalize.

In May 2006, Moss hired Rocky Mount attorney Michael Spivey to handle her divorce. She paid him more than $2,300 and expected court action by June of last year. When she didn't hear anything, she started calling.

“I couldn't get any answer except for his answering machine, so I kept leaving messages,” Moss said.

In November last year, Moss said Spivey's paralegal called to say the case was scheduled.

“November came and went and I thought, ‘Wait a minute. I haven't gotten any paperwork yet.’ So I started calling. I would call two to three times a week through December, January, February,” Moss said.

After going to the courthouse to check the records, Moss discovered that nothing had been filed.

“I was devastated,” Moss said.

Moss contacted the North Carolina State Bar and the Better Business Bureau. Spivey didn't respond to either, so Moss called 5 on Your Side.

When 5 on Your Side contacted Spivey, he wouldn't talk about why he had not finished the case. He also said he never saw a letter from the State Bar.

Regardless, his paralegal immediately re-did the paperwork and had Moss sign it.

“I feel a little victory,” Moss said.

Moss hopes that this time, Spivey will follow through and file the papers she signed.

“That's the easiest thing he had to do. That's the very easiest thing he had to do,” Moss said.

Moss said that after 5 on Your Side got involved, Spivey told her the divorce was delayed because he had another client with the same name and his paralegal worked on that case instead.

Either way, Moss now has a June court date.

Also, 5 on Your Side has received a second complaint about the same issue with Spivey. Currently, that case also appears headed in the right direction.


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  • Ladybug1 May 2, 2008

    I agree with life is good...Mike Spivey is known for holding cases up. He has no code of conduct and is the worse lawyer in Rocky Mount. I know...I have had to deal with him. Stay away!

    I am on the opposing side of a case he is handling and I've been waiting for 2 years and 4 months for this to go to trial. It's been excuse after excuse. He's slack and I think he knows his client doesn't stand a chance in H@#$. There is such a thing called Ethics and he has none.

  • oldschooltarheel May 1, 2008

    did he really tell the press he had another client with the same name? Is he supposed to disclose that? His client should file a small claims suit against him for failing to perform his pre-paid job in a timely manner.

  • life is good May 1, 2008

    Mike Spivey is known for holding cases up. He has no code of conduct and is the worse lawyer in Rocky Mount. I know...I have had to deal with him.
    Stay away!

  • whatusay May 1, 2008

    What do you need for a lawyer who is up to his neck in cement?


  • ncguy May 1, 2008

    That's a long retainer! LOL!!

  • Space Mountain May 1, 2008

    She could have just gone to court herself and done it for less than $100.

  • Eduardo1 May 1, 2008

    Sounds to me like the paralegal is getting dumped on. Also sounds the NC Bar is not doing there job. Buddy-Buddy system at work. Good job 5 on your side. Now push for a bit of punitive action on Spivy

  • iluvwilmy May 1, 2008

    it's still sad when a marriage breaks up, no matter what reason. what's also sad is this woman needed closure in this area of her life and it took so long to be finalized. I hope she recieves closure soon.

  • jkca May 1, 2008

    "Divorce.....sad" Preach The Word

    Divorce is sad, but it's also a choice that couples have to make based on their situation. So in some cases, it might not be so sad. The bible speaks of divorce and tells the reader what conditions are acceptable....maybe this was one of the acceptable condidtions.

  • hjandrj May 1, 2008

    You can't just go to his office. On the outside of his office door it reads you must have an appointment in order to talk to him or he will not see you.