United States District Court, D. Nebraska
JAMES E. BACHMAN, ADELLA A. BACHMAN, ERIC J. BACHMAN, RACHEL A. BACHMAN, MATTHEW R. BACHMAN, and C. ANDREW BACHMAN, Plaintiffs,
JOHN Q. BACHMAN, and LEAF SUPREME PRODUCTS, LLC, A Nebraska Limited Liability Co.; Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
SMITH CAMP SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion for
Summary Judgment, ECF No. 27, and Defendants' Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order, ECF No. 51. For the reasons
stated below, the Motions will be denied.
Court's previous Orders, ECF Nos. 10, 23, contain a full
recitation of the factual allegations and procedural history
of this case. The Court provides the following by way of
Supreme Products, LLC (“Leaf Supreme”) is a
Nebraska limited liability company. Defendant John Q. Bachman
is a member and majority owner of Leaf Supreme. Plaintiffs
have been Leaf Supreme's only employees. Plaintiffs
assert that from October 1, 2016, to present, they have not
been paid any wages. Plaintiffs allege that John Q. Bachman
ordered that no wages would be paid until Leaf Supreme had
adequate cash flow. Plaintiffs claim that during the relevant
period, each of them worked over 50 hours per week.
January 17, 2019, the shareholders of Leaf Supreme entered
into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to sell Leaf Supreme
to Contractor Metals, LLC. Plaintiffs allege they own or are
closely associated with Contractor Metals. The sale was set
to close on February 28, 2019; however, the sale did not
close. In March 2019, John Q. Bachman informed Plaintiffs
that he intended to cease operations of Leaf Supreme.
Plaintiffs filed a wage and hour complaint with the United
States Department of Labor. From March 1, 2019, to July 3,
2019, Plaintiffs continued working at Leaf Supreme to prevent
it from closing because they had loaned more than $500, 000
to Leaf Supreme.
6, 2019, Leaf Supreme filed an action in the District Court
of Douglas County, Nebraska, No. CI 19-4497 (the “State
Court Action”). In the State Court Action, Leaf Supreme
asserted that James and Adella Bachman did not have
permission to continue to act as employees or managers in
Leaf Supreme's operations. After unsuccessfully
attempting to remove the State Court Action to this Court,
Plaintiffs filed this action. Plaintiffs assert wage
violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C.
§§ 206 and 215(a)(2) and allege the State Court
Action is a retaliatory action in violation of the FLSA, 29
U.S.C. § 215(a)(3). They seek back wages and other
damages for both FLSA claims. On August 6, 2019, Plaintiffs
filed an Amended Complaint, ECF No. 26, and Motion for
Summary Judgment, ECF No. 27, on their FLSA claims.
31, 2019, the Court denied Plaintiffs' sixth attempt to
obtain a preliminary injunction in this case. ECF No. 23. In
its Memorandum and Order, the Court recognized the
substantial similarities between this action and the State
Court Action. The Court stated that it would not address the
enforceability of the MOU and that it would proceed in this
case only on Plaintiffs' claims that Defendants violated
July 31, 2019, the Department of Labor issued its findings on
Plaintiffs' wage and hour claim. The Department of Labor
found that Leaf Supreme failed to pay wages for hours worked,
resulting in underpayments totaling $256, 214.50 due to seven
employees. ECF No. 52-1 at 1. The Department also found that
Leaf Supreme failed to comply with child labor requirements.
Id. The Department did not assess any fine but
advised Leaf Supreme that the Department had notified
individuals of their private right to sue. Id.
October 4, 2019, Plaintiff Adella Bachman sent an email to
Defendant John Bachman and several of his law partners. In
the email, Adella Bachman stated her intent to send to John
Bachman's clients and clients of the firm “a copy
of the results of the Department of Labor's
investigation” and other “other supporting
documents” showing John Bachman's intent to violate
labor laws. ECF No. 51 at 5, PageID 469. Adella Bachman's
email stated that she would send the information on the
morning of October 7, 2019.
October 4, 2019, John Bachman attempted to halt Adella
Bachman's communication by filing a motion for temporary
restraining order in this Court and in the State Court
Action. Defendants describe the two motions as
“similar.” ECF No. 51. After a hearing on October
4, 2019, the Douglas County District Court denied
Motion for Summary Judgment
Motion for Summary Judgment will be denied because it is
premature. “Although discovery need not be complete
before a case is dismissed, summary judgment is proper only
if the nonmovant has had adequate time for discovery.”
Robinson v. Terex Corp., 439 F.3d 465, 467 (8th Cir.
2006). “The ...