SACRAMENTO, CA – The California members of TWHBEA filed suit on Monday against the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders & Exhibitors Association in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California located in Sacramento, California. TWHBEA’s registered agent for service of process, attorney Kevin Kennedy, was served with Summons and a copy of the Complaint Tuesday evening.
Nephew Eugene’s friend Randolph from Theta who went to Vanderbilt University Law School says the 40 page, 87 paragraph Complaint asks for beaucoup relief and attorneys fees and a whole lot of other stuff. Those TWHBEA boyz sure have been sued and sued good.
The Complaint alleges in part that TWHBEA, a Tennessee non-profit corporation, violated the Americans With Disabilities Act, ADA, by requiring its California members with disabilities to travel over 4,000 miles to Lewisburg, Tennessee to vote on the removal of California director sore Big Lick advocate Christy Lantis, rather than allowing vote by secret written ballot provided by the TWHBEA By-Laws.
The Americans With Disabilities Act is a federal civil rights law which prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities. The suit further alleged that TWHBEA violated its governing documents, the Tennessee Code, breach of contract, violation of California Business and Professions Code and the California Unruh Civil Rights Act.
The Plaintiffs seek declaratory judgment, temporary and permanent injunctions and other relief with regard to the meeting set for 9:00 a.m. on Monday, February 3, 2014, for members to vote on the removal of Christy Lantis as California Director.
The California TWHBEA members voted 79% YES for the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act which would remove the pads and chains from Tennessee Walking Horses, eliminate the corrupt HIO system and make horse soring a federal felony. There are 211 California members, and Christy Lantis is their only Director. She is the champion of the sore Big Lick and opposes passage of the PAST Act. Throughout America and the world, the TWHBEA membership voted a landslide 63% YES for passage of the PAST Act which would stop the Big Lick soring.
December 5, 2013, over 25% of the California TWHBEA members submitted a Petition for Christy Lantis removal.
December 7, 2013, Steve Smith and Walt Chism become officers of TWHBEA.
December 11, 2013, TWHBEA sent out a Notice setting the meeting to vote on the removal of Director Christy Lantis for 9:00 a.m. on Monday, February 3, 2014.
ATTORNEYS FOR CALIFORNIA TWHBEA MEMBERS
Attorney Fran Cole who represents the Californians along with Patricia Kryder, Esq of King and Ballow law firm in Nashville then repeatedly asked TWHBEA officials to allow the California TWHBEA members to cast their votes to remove Director Christy Lantis by secret writen ballot as provided by TWHBEA By-Laws. Cole makes clear that several California members have disabilities and it would be discriminatory and a hardship for them to be forced to travel over 4,000 miles to Lewisburg, Tennessee to vote. TWHBEA Sr. VP Walt Chism spends a lot of time on the internet explaining “his conclusion” that the California members must travel to Tennessee in order to be able to vote. Chism provides his own legal analysis attempting to justify TWHBEA’s position.
January 9, 2014, the attorney for TWHBEA finally informs Ms Kryder,
“TWHBEA will not allow mail ballot voting at the special meeting of the California membership.”
In 38 days, the team of Steve Smith and Walt Chism has seen:
- A Map showing a detailed break down of how 63% of the TWHBEA membership, national and overseas, voted “YES” in a POLL favoring passage of HR 1518/S1406 PAST Act,
- 400 TWHBEA membership drop last week,
- HR 1518 PAST Act roaring toward passage in the U.S. House – Co-Sponsors,
- Losing its CPA firm of 10 years,
- Larry Joe Wheelon Big Lick cruelty to horses scandal staring them in the face,
- SHOW HIO pending decertification by USDA,
- Nobody showing up at TWHBEA on Friday and Saturday to conduct business,
- Federal lawsuit in California,
and it’s only Tuesday.