United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
ANDREW L. SCHLAFLY, Plaintiff,
EAGLE FORUM, et al, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants Eunie Smith, Cathie
Adams, Rosina Kovar, and Carolyn McLarty's (the
"individual Defendants") motion to quash service of
summons and complaint (Doc. 6); Defendant Eagle Forum's
motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, to transfer (Doc.
16); Defendant Eagle Forum's motion to strike (Doc. 19);
Plaintiffs motion for temporary restraining order (Doc. 9);
and Plaintiffs motion for preliminary injunction (Doc. 10).
Plaintiff has not filed an opposition to any of the
aforementioned motions filed by Defendants, and the time to
do so has passed. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
will grant the motion to quash; deny the motion to dismiss;
deny as moot the motion for temporary restraining order; deny
without prejudice the motion for preliminary injunction; and
deny as moot the motion to strike;.
is the eldest son of the late Phyllis Schlafly, a
conservative political activist who founded several
non-profit entities to further her causes, including
Defendant Eagle Forum. (Doc. 8, Complaint
("Compl."), at ¶¶ 1, 26; see also
Phyllis Schlqfly Revocable Trust, et al. v. Anne Cori, et
al., 4:16-cv-01631-JAR, Doc. 51, at 2). Defendant Eagle
Forum is a corporation formed under the Illinois General Not
for Profit Corporation Act and governed by the Bylaws of
Eagle Forum ("Bylaws"). (Doc. 17, at 4). Phyllis
Schlafly formed Eagle Forum to advance her conservative
activism on a national level and to further the notion that
citizen-volunteers, through rigorous advocacy, can influence
government policies on federal, state, and local levels.
(Phyllis Schlafly Revocable Trust Litigation, Doc. 56, at 2).
At the time this lawsuit was filed in St. Louis County
Circuit Court on January 25, 2017, the Eagle Forum Board
consisted of nine directors: Ann Schlafly Cori, Defendant
Eunie Smith, Defendant Cathie Adams, Defendant Carolyn
McLarty, Defendant Rosina Kovar, Shirley Curry, John
Schlafly, Andrew Schlafly, and Kathleen Sullivan.
(Id.). Plaintiff's the brother of Ann Cori and
John Schlafly. (Doc. 28 at 1).
Leading up to this Case
are a number of pending lawsuits in various jurisdictions
between the "Majority Directors" and "Minority
Directors" of Eagle Forum after rifts developed within
its leadership. The "Majority Directors" included
Anne Cori, Defendant Eunie Smith, Defendant Cathie Adams,
Defendant Rosina Kovar, Defendant Carolyn McLarty, and
Shirley Curry. The Minority Directors consisted of Plaintiff,
John Schlafly, and Kathleen Sullivan. (Doc. 17 at 3).
months leading up to Phyllis Schlafly's death, John
Schlafly and Anne Cori disagreed as to the positions they
believed Phyllis Schlafly and Eagle Forum should have taken
on certain political issues, most notably the issue of which
candidate to endorse in the 2016 U.S.
Presidential Primary. (Phyllis Schlafly Revocable Trust
Litigation, Doc. 56, at 3). Ed Martin was formerly the
president of Eagle Forum, and he was allegedly endorsed by
Phyllis Schlafly. (Id.). However, on April 11, 2016,
the Majority Directors voted to remove Ed Martin from his
leadership role. (Id.). That vote gave rise to
litigation filed in the Circuit Court for the Third Judicial
Circuit in Madison County, Illinois, see Cori v.
Martin, No. 2016MR000111 (111. Cir. Ct. Oct. 20, 2016)
("the Madison County case"). (Id.).
October 20, 2016, the Madison County court entered an amended
TRO, suspending John Schlafly from the Eagle Forum Board,
enjoining him from accessing Eagle Forum property, and
granting the Majority Directors temporary sole control of and
possession over all Eagle Forum property ("Madison
County TRO"). (Id. at 5). On January 9, 2017,
Defendant Eunie Smith, Defendant Cathie Adams, and Anne Cori
called a special meeting of the board for the purpose of
removing John Schlafly, Plaintiff, and Kathleen Sullivan as
directors. (Doc. 8-2). That meeting, scheduled on January 28,
2017, is the subject of this litigation.
January 19, 2017, Plaintiff filed this action in St. Louis
County circuit court seeking a temporary restraining order
and preliminary injunction enjoining the individual
Defendants from taking any action not authorized by the
Bylaws, and specifically enjoining the individual Defendants
from holding or participating in the January 28, 2017
meeting. (Compl. at ¶¶ 23-51). Plaintiff also seeks
a declaratory judgment that the January 28, 2017, is (now
was) in violation of the Bylaws and is ultra vires, and that
the individual Defendants are acting in bad faith.
(Id. at ¶¶ 52-57). Defendant Eagle Forum
removed the case to this Court, and a number of motions were
filed by both Plaintiff and Defendants.
case was originally assigned to another District Judge who
set Plaintiff's motion for temporary restraining order
for a hearing, but the parties agreed that no hearing would
be needed. On January 26, 2017, the case was reassigned
because Plaintiffs complaint was significantly similar to the
Phyllis Schlafly Revocable Trust Litigation, which was
pending before the undersigned. (Doc. 24). Thereafter,
Plaintiff filed a motion to remand the case to state court
to Quash Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(e)(2) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides ...