Judge sends lawsuit against Baileys back to Lee County

TUPELO – JBHM Education Group’s lawsuit against its former CEO, Gary Bailey, and his wife is coming back to circuit court in Lee County, U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock ruled Friday.
With sufficient evidence to question whether Bailey lives in Alabama or Mississippi, Aycock said the practice is to rule in favor of “remand” or bringing it back to where it started.
JBHM, established in Tupelo but now based in Jackson, sued Bailey and Cynthia Cason Bailey, in 2008, in circuit court, alleging they had a romantic relationship while Bailey was CEO and she was a subordinate. It also accused them of a conspiracy to threaten JBHM with a baseless sexual harassment claim and lawsuit.
That’s when the Baileys moved the legal action to federal court in Northern Mississippi.
But JBHM insisted otherwise, producing various evidence that Bailey continued to spend weekdays in Tupelo and maintained other substantial connections here.
To support keeping the lawsuit in federal court, Bailey insisted he is a resident of Alabama.
However, Aycock said in her 15-page memorandum that “the facts of this case do not clearly point to domicile in Alabama or Mississippi.”
“Any doubts that this court has are to be resolved in favor of remand.”
The reason multi-state parties move lawsuits to federal court, she noted, is to avoid prejudice against out-of-state parties in state courts.
“No such potential for prejudice exists in this case,” Aycock wrote.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

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