Judge Extends Restraining Order Against Hood

By: Jon Kalahar Email
By: Jon Kalahar Email

A day after being re-elected, Attorney General Jim Hood was in court all day Wednesday.

He was ordered by U.S. District Judge Michael Parker to appear and testify in a civil matter with State Farm Insurance.

In a lawsuit filed in September, State Farm alleges Hood not only broke a settlement between two parties, but has threatened the insurance company to settle civil litigation in Mississippi.

State Farm says Hood and others working with him conducted searches and seizures of State Farm documents.

Attorneys on both sides were in closed-door meetings all afternoon, so Hood did not actually testify.

However, the judge did decide to extend a temporary restraining order against Hood indefinitely.

"What we're trying to do here is to protect our employees and agents in Mississippi from what we feel is the continued harassment by Attorney General Jim Hood and the people working with him," said State Farm spokesman, Jonathan Freed. "And by the judge today extending indefinitely that temporary restraining order, we're pleased this protection is now in place."

In January 2007, State Farm agreed to pay the state $5 million if Hood stopped his criminal investigations. Now this order will prevent Hood from conducting those investigations.

Another date is expected to be set to resume the hearing, where it is believed Hood will testify about these allegations.

Hood originally filed suit just weeks after Hurricane Katrina to force State Farm to change parts of homeowners' policies to help those affected by the storm.

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