Judge Says ‘Work That Out’

A Fort Worth district court judge told attorneys representing the National Cutting Horse Association and two members seeking NCHA financial information to "work out" what should or should not remain confidential during a Monday, June 2 hearing.A Fort Worth district court judge told attorneys representing the National Cutting Horse Association and two members seeking NCHA financial information to "work out" what should or should not remain confidential during a Monday, June 2 hearing.

Story originally posted by: Mark ThompsonReprinted from Quarter Horse News, www.quarterhorsenews.com

A Fort Worth district court judge told attorneys representing the National Cutting Horse Association and two members seeking NCHA financial information to "work out" what should or should not remain confidential during a Monday, June 2 hearing.

After dissolving a temporary restraining order another judge had imposed upon the NCHA, 67th District Court Judge Don Cosby said he found "no basis" for that May 21 order because "there is no evidence the NCHA is going to destroy documents."

Association members Paula Gaughan, Las Vegas, and Dean Sanders, Anderson, Texas, have the right to obtain NCHA financial records, the judge added, but he indicated he is not sure all NCHA financial records should become a matter of public record.

Gaughan and Sanders, two longtime NCHA members who have been involved in the sport as horses owners and riders and in the management of aged events shows, filed a lawsuit on May 20 seeking NCHA financial records. They seek all bank accounts, payroll records, including money paid to key NCHA administrators, and payments to all vendors and attorneys who have worked with the association during the past three years.

They seek that information under a provision in the Texas Business Organization Code. It states: "A member of a Texas corporation, on written demand, stating the purposed of the demand, is entitled to examine and copy the books and records of the corporation relevant to that purpose."

Judge Cosby said during the hearing, "I agree the statute [cited in seeking the information] exists.”

The judge also said he would sign a protective order requested by the NCHA. While Gaughan and Sanders can view and copy NCHA financial information, at their expense, they cannot distribute it, until issues of confidentiality are resolved, the judge said. Judge Cosby said he might have to take on the confidentiality issues item by item, but he’d rather see the two parties’ attorneys resolve that themselves.

"You all work that out," the judge said. "Let’s do what’s right."

There is little case law involving the relatively new state law Gaughan and Sanders’ lawsuit cites, the judge said. Texas legislators passed it in 2003. It took effect in January 2006 for some corporations, but it still won’t take effect …

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