Jason Klohs v. Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program Policy Board Set for Summary Judgment Hearing

July 5, 2011

JULY 5, 2011  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jason Klohs, a non-resident property owner in the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood of Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis NRP Policy Board are set to present cross-motions for summary judgment before the Honorable Mel I. Dickstein of the Hennepin County District Court on July 7, 2011 at 8:45 a.m. in downtown Minneapolis.

Klohs filed suit against the City of Minneapolis, the NRP and the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association in 2010 (Klohs stipulated to dismissal of his claims against the City).  The question before the Court is whether or not the NRP Policy Board’s grievance procedure is a violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Specifically, a provision of the grievance procedure requires an aggrieved person to submit to binding arbitration to complete the administrative grievance process.  Because a litigant must exhaust their administrative remedies, the policy provision essentially insulates the NRP from any judicial challenge, a violation of the First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and redress of grievances.

Please direct all inquiries to Ryan H. Ahlberg at rahlberg@ahlberglaw.com.

Advertisements

Jason Klohs Sues Minneapolis NRP for Unconstitutional Grievance Policy

November 10, 2010

NOVEMBER 10, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JASON KLOHS SUES MINNEAPOLIS NRP FOR UNCONSTITUTIONAL GRIEVANCE POLICY.

Jason Klohs (“Mr. Klohs”), a non-resident property owner within the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood has sued the City of Minneapolis (the “City”) and the Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program Policy Board (“NRP”), seeking declaratory relief, partly on constitutional grounds  (Access a copy of the Complaint). 

The suit alleges that the NRP grievance policy violates the doctrine of unconstitutional conditions.  Mr. Klohs is required to exhaust his administrative remedies, but NRP argues the grievance policy requires Mr. Klohs to submit to binding arbitration, foreclosing any future suit if he disagrees with NRP’s decision.  Mr. Klohs has declined to submit to binding arbitration, but NRP refuses to acknowledge that Mr. Klohs has exhausted his administrative remedies, resulting in a catch-22 leading to the suit. 

In addition to the claims against NRP, the suit also requests declaratory judgment that the City’s CPED staff has arbitrarily decided not to follow its own grievance procedure. 

These disputes all arise from a grievance Mr. Klohs filed with the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association in July, 2009.  The underlying issues remain unresolved. 

Further questions regarding this matter can be directed to counsel for Mr. Klohs, Ryan H. Ahlberg, 612-373-7081 or rahlberg@ahlberglaw.com.


Two African-American Former Employees Sue Rapid Recovery, Inc. For Discrimination

November 9, 2010

NOVEMBER 9, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TWO AFRICAN-AMERICAN FORMER EMPLOYEES SUE RAPID RECOVERY, INC.  FOR DISCRIMINATION.

Ahlberg Law, PLLC has filed lawsuits on behalf of two African-American former employees of Rapid Recovery, Inc., a St. Paul based towing company, for alleged violations of the Minnesota Human Rights Act, amongst other claims. 

Jimmie Eatmon and Pasconnil Blakey, both employed as drivers for Rapid Recovery until their terminations, filed seperate suits in Ramsey County District Court.  (See Eatmon complaint; see Blakey complaint).  

Mr. Eatmon’s complaint alleges, among other discrimination, that he found a duffel bag of all black pornography in his locker, and that his locker was defaced when his name was crossed out and replaced by the words “black boy” and a keychain with the word “Mississippi” printed on its face.  Mr. Eatmon is originally from Mississippi. 

Mr. Blakey alleges that he suffered discriminatory reprisal when he was demoted after bringing up a uniform pricing issue with Rapid Recovery management.  Mr. Blakey also is suing for wrongful termination, in addition to the discrimination claims. 

Court ordered mediation in Mr. Eatmon’s case was unsuccessful, and the case is set for the January 24-February 7 trial block in Ramsey County District Court.  Mr. Blakey’s case has yet to proceed to mediation. 

For  more information, please contact Ryan Ahlberg at rahlberg@ahlberglaw.com.


Review of Star Tribune FDCPA Article

August 13, 2010

Some friends have asked me about the FDCPA article that recently appeared in the Star Tribune. 

There are good arguments on both the creditor and debtor side.  In practice, I have found that collection agents often do engage in conduct that should not be tolerated.  On the other hand, intentional goading to cause a violation is also inappropriate. 

In my opinion, the best way fix the system is to rewrite the federal laws punishing overly agressive collectors by debt reduction or elimination — not monetary penalties — and eliminating the fee shifting provision in the law. 

From the perspective of Ahlberg Law, PLLC and my business, I do use FDCPA when a client has a legitimate case.  In short, the FDCPA is one tool when I a client has an issue with a third-party that deserves resolution one way or another.


CLARK PATRICK PHOTOGRAPHY HAS SUED MINNEAPOLIS BASED ADVERTISING AGENCY COLLE & MCVOY FOR ALLEGED FRAUDULENT USE OF IMAGERY

June 11, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

———————

Of interest to editors and journalists covering: Corporate litigation, freelance abuse, creative services, small businesses, and general business

 CLARK PATRICK PHOTOGRAPHY HAS SUED MINNEAPOLIS BASED ADVERTISING AGENCY COLLE & MCVOY FOR ALLEGED FRAUDULENT USE OF IMAGERY

 MINNNEAPOLIS, MN – June 11, 2010 / http://www.ahlberglaw.com/ —  Clark Patrick Goebel, doing business as Clark Patrick Photography, has filed suit against Colle & McVoy, Inc. & Colle McVoy, LLC in Hennepin County District Court.  The case number is 27-10-CV-13559.

 Mr. Goebel is a Twin Cities based freelance professional commercial photographer (www.clarkpatrick.com) and the founder of Unite Bike (www.unitebike.com), an organization that promotes bicycle advocacy by gathering individual cyclists for an annual large group photograph of area cycling enthusiasts.

 The lawsuit alleges that Colle & McVoy fraudulently obtained Mr. Goebel’s consent to use one of the Unite Bike photographs on another website.  Mr. Goebel alleges he was contacted by Colle & McVoy, who asked for permission to use the photo for a pro bono project.  Mr. Goebel later learned that the Colle & McVoy project was not, in fact, pro bono, and that Colle & McVoy received compensation for the project.  Despite due demand, Colle & McVoy has failed to disclose the amount of compensation it received or offer compensation to Mr. Goebel for the use of his image.

 Mr. Goebel states, “Large advertising agencies often try to get as much from their smaller vendor partners as possible, but in this case I felt there were a number of issues that required me to take legal action against Colle & McVoy.  Freelance creative producers are often unable or unwilling to defend themselves because they are fearful it could cost them future business or cannot afford costly legal fees associated with lawsuits, but I needed to defend myself and I hope this type of issue won’t happen again to other creative freelance producers in town.”  He also said, “It is particularly disappointing this type of thing would happen with my Unite Bike project since at its core it is all about promoting a positive community activity.”

 For more information about this lawsuit, please contact Mr. Goebel’s attorney Ryan Ahlberg, at 612-373-7081.  Mr. Goebel is available for limited comment on this suit at 763-439-8922 or via e-mail at revolution@clarkpatrick.com

 Media contact:

Ryan Ahlberg

rahlberg@ahlberglaw.com

Phone: 612.373.7081


City of Minneapolis Denies Jason Klohs Grievance Remedies

April 30, 2010

APRIL 30, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS NRP DENIES JASON KLOHS GRIEVANCE REMEDIES; CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS PROCESSING CITIZEN PARTICIPATION GRIEVANCE.

Jason Klohs (“Mr. Klohs”), a non-resident property owner within the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood has been denied grievance remedies under the City of Minneapolis’ Neighborhood Revitalization Program (“NRP”) for failing to waive his constitutional rights, among other remedies.  Mr. Klohs initiated grievances with the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association (“MHNA”) in July, 2009 that have not been resolved. 

In a letter dated April 14, 2010, Robert D. Miller, the director of Minneapolis’ NRP, stated “The NRP Grievance Procedure clearly requires all parties to consent to be bound by the decision reached as a result of the identified process, and is therefore, in the nature of mandatory arbitration.” 

In his request to initiate grievance proceedings, Mr. Klohs specifically refused to waive any future remedies, rights, or causes of action should he find the NRP decision unacceptable or contrary to the laws of the State of Minnesota and/or the United States. 

Mr. Klohs’ attorney, Ryan H. Ahlberg, and Ahlberg Law, PLLC are investigating whether or not a municipality or government entity may require waiver of constitutional or other rights to participate in an established administrative remedy. 

In Mr. Klohs’ related grievance regarding the City’s Citizen Participation Program requirements, The City is processing the grievance pursuant to policy and a decision is expected within the next 30 days. 

Further questions regarding this matter can be directed to Ryan H. Ahlberg, 612-373-7081 or rahlberg@ahlberglaw.com.


Former Driver Sues Rapid Recovery, Inc. Alleging Human Rights Violations

March 1, 2010

MARCH 1, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TOW-TRUCK DRIVER SUES RAPID RECOVERY, INC. IN RAMSEY COUNTY DISTRICT COURT ALLEGING HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS.

Jimmie Eatmon (“Mr. Eatmon”), an African-American and former employee of Rapid Recovery, Inc. (“Rapid Recovery”) has sued in Ramsey County District Court, alleging he suffered from a hostile work environment, was discriminated against, and was fired because of his race.

Mr. Eatmon’s attorney, Ryan H. Ahlberg, filed the lawsuit in December after Mr. Eatmon withdrew his charge filed with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights to exercise his right to file a private lawsuit.

Mr. Eatmon, who worked as a tow truck driver for Rapid Recovery for a little over a year, was terminated in late February, 2009.  Further questions regarding the case can be directed to Ryan H. Ahlberg, 612-373-7081 or rahlberg@ahlberglaw.com.