Joop Bollen and his legal team don’t want to drive to Pierre to fight the state’s lawsuit against Bollen’s EB-5 management company SDRC Inc. On November 17, Bollen’s lawyer’s moved for a change of venue from Hughes County to Brown County:
Lawyers Julie Dvorak, Jeff Sveen, and Reed Rasmussen argue that the state is misreading the statute that calls for cases dealing with indemnification contracts in the county where the indemnified resides:
Actions on contracts, surety bonds, or bonds of indemnity or liability, other than those referred to in § 15-5-4, issued by any such company or companies shall be brought and tried in the county where the indemnified resides at the time said action is commenced; or in the county where such liability or loss indemnified by such contract or bond occurred [SDCL 15-5-5].
The state is going after Bollen’s SDRC Inc. for not paying for the legal costs the state incurred defending itself from Bollen’s illegal DIY lawyering in the Darley lawsuit. Team Bollen contends that the state isn’t suing over a contract of indemnification but a contract that includes an indemnification clause and lots more. Thus, SDCL 15-5-5 doesn’t apply and venue is determined by SDCL 15-5-6, which says the trial happens where the defendant lives.
Legal readers, I welcome your analysis of the legal argument. But I say, heck yeah! Move the trial to Brown County! I would love to see the state take on Bollen and his crafty lawyers right here in Aberdeen, just ten blocks from my house! Joop, Jeff, thank you! I’m with you 100%!