David Roy filed another complaint against the Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce directors. This one was filed Wednesday, Jan. 23, the same day the court recorded approval of his request to drop the original suit without prejudice. The court record showed actual dismissal of the action on the 18th. Five days later, Roy filed a second complaint, slightly modified from the first — this time in a different department of Superior Court and before a different judge. Dismissal of a suit without prejudice means the court did not rule on the merits of the suit and allows the plaintiff to file again in the future.
The new lawsuit contains allegations against the Chamber directors similar to the August suit. Roy also seeks a similar recovery. He filed against the same named Chamber defendants and filed in the same jurisdiction, the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside.
The original suit was a complaint for “Quantum Meruit and Fraud” — for money the Chamber purportedly owed Roy for work that he performed in applying a sealant to the “Harmony” monument in July 2012; and for fraud, alleging Chamber directors knowingly and purposefully “embezzled” money from the monument preservation account.
The newest suit is a complaint for “Declaratory Relief, Quantum Meruit and Fraud.” Once again, Roy filed the suit in “Pro Per,” representing himself, ostensibly without legal counsel.
The only major difference between the August and January court documents is an additional claim for relief, a declaratory judgment by the court of the rights of the parties, based on the facts presented. The suit will also be heard by a different judge. The Honorable Judge Albert J. Wojcik is scheduled to preside, beginning with a case management conference on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
Roy’s August 2012 suit was assigned to Commissioner Kathleen Jacobs in Superior Court in Hemet.
As in the previous complaint, Roy’s pleadings explicitly acknowledge there was no contract between him and the Chamber. Nevertheless, he claims he should be paid for the value of his work, $1,500.
The complaint again alleges Chamber directors “embezzled the majority of the Chamber’s Monument Preservation Fund, absconded with it, misappropriated the money, and engaged in a cover-up in the face of donor inquiries as to the use of the donations held in trust by the Chamber and its board members.”
Chamber President Chris Titus stated last year she notified both Roy and his legal advisor, attorney and former Chamber President Ken Carlson, that Chamber books were open for their inspection and that those records would account for all checks written from the Monument Preservation Fund from the time Carlson was president until the present. Neither Roy nor Carlson came to inspect the Chamber books. Instead Roy filed the August 2012 action.
This latest suit by Roy seeks actual damages of $1,500 from each defendant, punitive damages against each defendant, declaratory relief from the judge and court costs incurred by Roy.
The practical effect of Roy’s latest action is to force Chamber directors to respond, once again entailing personal costs for filing fees and potential attorney costs should directors choose to retain counsel. In the dismissal of the August suit, the court rescinded any fees or costs against Roy. But all fees and attorney costs incurred by Chamber directors remained, having already been paid.
Chamber directors met on Wednesday, Feb. 6, to discuss their course of action with regard this latest action by Roy. Information regarding their plan was not available at press time.