Legal Alert: Two New Patronage Capital Cases Hit Alabama Coops

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Two new class action patronage capital cases were recently filed in Alabama against two different electric cooperatives: Recherche LLC v. Baldwin County Electric Membership Corp. (CV-2012-900820.00, Baldwin County, AL) and Harkless v. Dixie Electric Cooperative (CV-2012-900073.00, Macon County, AL). The two cases were filed on the same day, June 27, 2012, and have the same plaintiffs’ attorneys.

The Baldwin EMC and Dixie complaints are nearly identical, and they share many similarities with the other patronage capital cases that have been filed recently. In essence, the Plaintiffs claim that the coops did not comply with their statutory obligations to make refunds to members, and that many members move away or die before the patronage capital is refunded—thereby allowing the coops to retain the funds unlawfully. The Plaintiffs further claim that the coops are required under Alabama law to refund patronage capital on an annual basis. Both cases are class actions, brought on behalf of all present and former members of the coops.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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