Coleman et al v. Campbell County Public Library Board of Trustees
MOTION for Order to Bar Ex-Parte Contacts and the Reckless Expenditure of Funds Owed as Refunds to make said contact by Charlie Coleman, Erik Hermes, John P. Roth, Jr Motions referred to J. Gregory Wehrman. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order Order Granting)(Voelker, Brandon) Modified to better describe on 2/13/2012 (LST).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
NORTHERN DIVISION AT COVINGTON
CIVIL ACTION NO. 2012-00030 DLB
CHARLIE COLEMAN, JOHN P. ROTH JR AND
ERIK HERMES ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES
AND OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED
CAMPBELL COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD
PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION TO BAR EX-PARTE CONTACTS AND THE
RECKLESS EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS OWED AS REFUNDS TO MAKE SAID
Comes now the Plaintiffs, by Counsel, and hereby moves for an immediate Order
from this Court to prevent Defendants from making any ex-parte contacts with the
proposed class of taxpayers. Plaintiff seeks relief to bar Defendant from unlawful
conduct in the form of an Order that bars Defendant from engaging in ex-parte self
serving communication paid with monies ultimately owed to the Plaintiffs and class in
the form of refunds. In support, Plaintiffs’ attach hereto as Exhibit A, the February 2012
“Connections” newsletter, sent to prospective class members.
Defendant’s Executive Director specifically states, “The library is in total
compliance with the spirit, intent and letter of the Kentucky Revised Statutes….”
Furthermore, Defendant’s Executive Director seeks to mislead the prospective class by
stating “It’s extremely unfortunate that time, energy and money that should be used to
serve the public must instead be diverted to this shortsighted lawsuit.”
Mr. Morgan’s statements are misleading and not based on fact. As argued in prior
filings, KRS 173.790 governs the manner of taxation for the Defendant. Classification of
this action as “short sighted” is to argue that the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
do not apply to the Defendant. The unfortunate “time, energy and money” being spent, is
being expended on misleading communications to the class. The Defendant’s Executive
Director has also started attending various city council meetings to state similar remarks,
for which Plaintiffs do not have the requisite “podium” in that they are not the Library.
Furthermore, to allow the Defendant Library to use its standing as a library to then seek
to mislead the public as to the issues raised herein is an abuse of the public trust and
This action is simply brought to insure the rule of law is followed. The use of
taxpayer money to mislead should be barred. Absent an Order from this Court, the use of
monies, which are ultimately due in the form of refunds, will be spent on frivolous
statements and public relations by the Defendant Library.
In Gulf Oil Company v. Bernard, 452 U.S. 89 (1981) the United States Supreme
Court stated that “because of the potential for abuse, a district court has both the duty
and the broad authority to exercise control over a class action and to enter appropriate
orders governing the conduct of counsel and the parties.” Hoffman-LaRoche, Inc. v.
Sperling, 493 U.S. 165, 171, 110 S.Ct. 482, 486-87 (1989) (quoting Gulf Oil Co. v.
Bernard, 452 U.S. 89 (1981). In Gulf, the Court found that proper regulation of
communication with class members does not violate the First Amendment.
The Sixth Circuit has embraced the decision in Gulf Oil by requiring orders
limiting communication between parties and potential class members to be based on the
specific circumstances of the case:
[A]n order limiting communications between the parties and potential
class members should be based on a clear record and specific findings that
reflect a weighing of the need for a limitation and the potential
interference with the rights of the parties. Only such a determination can
ensure that the court is furthering rather than hindering, the policies
embodied in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, especially Rule 23.
Williams, 658 F.2d at 436 (quoting Gulf Oil Co. v. Bernard, 101 S.Ct. 2193, 2200 n.12).
Specific circumstances where the federal courts have found that the purposes of
Rule 23 class actions would be hindered include: (1) soliciting non-party class members;
(2) counseling potential members and “drumming up” participation in the proceeding; or
(3) communicating with class members and misrepresenting the status or effect of the
pending action. Williams, 658 F.2d at 436. Defendant Executive Director Morgan is
clearly attempting to misrepresent the status or effect of the pending action.
Plaintiffs action is not brought to “unravel and undermine the work that helps so
many,” as misrepresented by Defendant. To the contrary, Defendant engaged in a taxing
scheme, with knowledge of a statutory limitation. The meeting in which Plaintiffs and
their Counsel attended, the Defendant Library Board’s attorney acknowledged the
existence and conflict between HB44 and KRS 173.790. For the Defendant’s Executive
Director to then advise that he is “honestly baffled,” after his own attorney in a meeting
advised of a potential problem, is the type of misrepresentation to be prohibited.
Especially, in light of the fact that the taxpayers are paying for Mr. Morgan to engage in
Wherefore, based on the foregoing, Plaintiff would ask this Court to enter an
Order prohibiting the further use of taxpayer dollars to engage in ex parte
communications with the prospective class members.
_/s/Brandon N. Voelker______________
Brandon N. Voelker
The Voelker Firm, PLLC
4135 Alexandria Pike, Suite 109
Cold Spring, Kentucky 41076
This is to certify that on the 10th day of February 2012, I electronically filed the
foregoing with the clerk of the court by using the CM/ECF system, which will send a
notice of electronic filing to all counsel of record.
/s/Brandon N. Voelker_______________
Brandon N. Voelker
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