Faced with a lawsuit alleging that the private school’s board of directors is illegally constituted and making important financial decisions without input from its membership, Lee Christian has responded that the lawsuit is invalid because not only are the plaintiffs – tuition-paying parents of children attending the school – not “members” of the organization, but that the organization itself does not have and never has had members.
Several parents filed a lawsuit against the private Christian school in late April which asked that it call a meeting of its members to elect a new board of directors, and that a restraining order be be filed prohibiting the current board from “tak(ing) any further action on behalf of or relating to Lee Christian School.”
Several of the plaintiffs had expressed concerns about the construction of a new daycare facility not being feasible financially, as well as about the hiring and dismissal of several school administrators and employees.
The case was continued on May 20 after attorneys for the school issued a letter to the plaintiffs’ attorney stating the school’s position that the organization has no members.
“Your clients assert that they have standing to bring their lawsuit based entirely on their claimed status as members,” the letter reads. “However, they are not members and have no reasonable basis to believe that they are members, their demands for a meeting and votes are meritless.” The letter also asks that the plaintiffs “voluntarily dismiss (their) complaint.”
The letter from Lee Christian’s attorney, Greensboro-based C. Scott Meyers, apparently led the plaintiffs’ attorney, Sanford-based Jonathan Silverman, to file a lengthy amended complaint on July 2 arguing that Lee Christian’s original bylaws and articles of incorporation make several detailed references to “members” and “membership,” undermining their current position that there are no members.
“Lee Christian was formed as a member based nonprofit, with Article V providing that ‘all current members of Lee Christian School, an unincorporated association, shall be members of the corporation. New members may be admitted by majority vote or the board of directors,'” the amended complaint reads. “The Plaintiffs are of this belief because of Defendant’s representations that enrollment of children at Lee Christian afforded them membership by virtue of their enrollment application, acceptance at the school and payment of fees, costs and dues.”
The Rant was unable to confirm Friday whether a hearing has been scheduled in the matter.