Edmondson, Socorro Community Radio victorious after 6 1/2 years in lawsuit regarding attempted sale of Mine Country 102.1 to T. Reese Janca/Green Lion LLC in 2017

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On Monday July 1, 2024 Socorro Community Radio LLC (SCR) & Owner Steve Edmondson were vindicated in the lawsuit filed on December 22, 2017 against T. Reese Janca & Green Lion LLC. The lawsuit was filed because of the failure of Janca and Green Lion to meet the obligations of a contract signed on June 16, 2017 that called for Janca to make a $25,000 down payment by July 15, 2017 and also that all revenues brought in from invoiced sales prior to July 1, 2017 belonged to SCR and would be deposited in SCR accounts. A trial on the merits of the case was held on August 28, 2023 after numerous delays that included failure of the Defendant Green Lion LLC to obtain legal counsel as required by state law, COVID, etc.. In the trial parties were allowed to present their cases and defend their positions and actions throughout this entire ordeal. The final decision of Judge Mercedes Murphy was delayed by defendant Janca filing an appeal in the days following the trial that was rejected in March 2024 by the Court of Appeals, allowing Murphy then to move forward with her ruling on the case.

During the time from the filing of the lawsuit to the present Mine Country 102.1 was off the air for nearly a year from March 24, 2018 to March 2, 2019, because of Mr. Janca’s destruction of some station equipment and failure to return other equipment necessary for the operation of the station, in direct violation of a court order to return all equipment in an April 23, 2018 hearing. Eventually, SCR had to spend more than $15,000 to replace the equipment and put the station back on the air so as not to lose the FCC license as a penalty for the station being off air for more than a year. Mr. Janca was found in contempt of court on multiple occassions for his misbehavior during this process.

In the 19 page document Murphy found that Janca never made the $25,000 down payment and broke the contract further by confiscating revenues that were from advertising that ran on on Mine Country 102.1 prior to July 1, 2017 that, by contract, belonged to SCR. Janca tried in the trial to claim that the reason he did not make the down payment was because the station license had not been transferred to him, but he produced no evidence to show that was the reason for the failure to make the down payment. Under cross examination Janca admitted that despite his assurance to Edmondson that he had obtained financing to make the down payment he turned that financing down because he did not like the terms of the financing. However, Janca did not inform Edmondson of this decision and took possession of Mine Country 102.1 equipment and did not inform Mr. Edmondson of his inability to make the down payment until a July 6, 2017 email thus setting in motion a series of events that led to Mr Edmondson filing the lawsuit for breach of contract on December 22, 2017. Edmondson attempted to work with Janca in resolving the problems, but as Judge Murphy found, Janca was completely side-stepping issues in email contacts between the two. Janca refused to speak by phone to Edmondson despite numerous attempts by Edmondson to do so. Edmondson was in Iowa during these attempts to solve the issues related to the sale of the station. Plaintiff Edmondson filed the lawsuit as a last resort to resolve the situation, but any chance to make a settlement was lost when Janca & his at the time, Lee Deschamps, abruptly ended a call with Mr. Edmondson & his then attorney, Mark Filosa, on March 6, 2018 after Mr. Edmondson made a good faith offer to settle the lawsuit. From there the first hearing on the matter took place on March 19, 2018 at which it was agreed that the station would be taken off the air as FCC lawyer Michael Wagner had instructed Janca to do in February of 2018. The station remained off the air until March 2019 because Mr. Janca’s refusal to return station equipment and nearly caused the loss of the FCC license for KYRN 102.1.

Defendant Janca was found liable for breach of contract, loss of income, abuse of process, prima facia tort, conversion, and relief or music license fees. Edmondson did not seek any punitive damages, but Janca will be liable for attorney fees and court costs. The total judgement against Janca will be in the neighborhood of $30,000. Janca’s claims to ownership of KYRN 102.1 and the FCC license were rejected. Janca has already stated that he plans to appeal Murphy’s rulings in the case. Read the entire decision below.