Small claims case against Kaptur removed by federal lawWritten by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Marcy Kaptur’s former memorial chairman, Nick Haupricht, intends to file a lawsuit against the U.S. federal government.
Haupricht originally filed against Kaptur in small claims court Sept. 17. Haupricht claimed “misguidance by her staff” and sought $3,458.02 for reimbursement of advertisements in local papers, flyers as well as applications for memorial stones.
The small claims case was removed by the federal government Sept 23 due to 28 U.S.C. §§1441, 142(a)(1)&(4) and 28 U.S.C. §§2671,2674 and 2679. The removal action by the federal government claims Kaptur has federal defenses as a result of the Federal Tort Claims Act, so the case cannot be tried in small claims court.
In order for Haupricht to pursue action he has to file against the United States of America.
In December 2009, Haupricht took a leadership role as chairman for the proposed veteran’s garden at the new VA Clinic. In this role, Haupricht was in charge of arranging transportation and a temporary staging area of a memorial stone.
Haupricht sent fliers to more than 400 motorcycle clubs asking bikers to accompany the memorial to its final placement. He said Dan Foote, who is in charge of veterans’ relations in Kaptur’s office, authorized him to send out materials. Haupricht also purchased ad space in local papers.
Meanwhile, Haupricht had been working with Tony Chiaravalloti, who worked for Granites of America in Rhode Island, which housed the memorial, about moving it to Toledo. Chiaravalloti sent a letter to Haupricht stating, “We are reluctant to send the stones until we … can review plans.”
Haupricht had a blueprint of the memorial made up and sent it to Chiaravalloti. Haupricht also began work on applications for stone pavers, or memorial stones, to accompany the memorial.
In May, Haupricht had also been hosting fundraising dinners with actress Chris Noel in attendance. He hosted two dinners at local VA locations; a third scheduled dinner was canceled by Kaptur’s office.
On April 13, Haupricht received a letter from Steve Katich in Kaptur’s office stating that the work on the memorial has been postponed and for Haupricht to suspend any activity promoting the memorial stone and any fundraising for it.
“The quarry owner whose stone it is has stated in order to give the mock up stones reverence they deserve he has offered the stones to communities which either already have a memorial or are currently building one. The completion of a veterans memorial on the campus of the proposed VA outpatient clinic site in Toledo is contingent on the completion of the clinic,” Katich wrote. “Since the clinic completion has been delayed, a veterans memorial cannot move forward.”
The letter also states that a design for the memorial would depend on a design of the clinic and would take “significant planning and organization.” Katich said for Kaptur to participate in any way, House rules require the existence of a nonprofit organization to manage the funding portion of such an effort.
Haupricht said he hadn’t previously been notified of any such stipulations.
Haupricht is currently working as a volunteer for the campaign of Rich Iott, Republican candidate for 9th Congressional District and Kaptur’s opponent.
“Because I can’t get Marcy to represent me in any shape of form, I thought it was time to get one in there that will be my representative,” he said.
Haupricht began volunteering for Iott recently, but no one from Iott’s campaign is advising him in the case, he said.