Zulu members head to court Thursday - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Zulu members head to court Thursday

Members of the Zulu organization will face off in New Orleans Civil District Court Thursday morning. A judge is set to rule on whether President Naaman Stewart violated the club's by-laws when he raised member's dues.

For almost one month, the drama between members of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club has been playing out in court filings.

On October 31, Joseph Weadd filed a petition alleging Stewart raised member dues without proper notification and without a vote by all Zulu members.  Weadd claims that violated the club's by-laws.

Thursday morning, the two sides will come face to face to hash out their issues in Judge Lloyd Medley's courtroom.

FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti commented, "I think Judge Medley will try to do what's best. He understands the value of Zulu to the community and I think anybody wants to see this resolved, wants to see the memberships at peace."

Joseph Weadd wants the judge to prevent Stewart from spending any money garnered from the increased member dues.

In a letter Stewart sent to members earlier this month, he said the club was on the verge of financial ruin just a few months ago.  Sources say the club's constitution allows the president to make an executive decision without a full vote, but only in an emergency situation. 

"That's now under the discretion of the judge to decide whether the president exercised correct authority or whether he went beyond what he was supposed to do," Raspanti said.

According to a source, if the judge denies Weadd's request, he'll keep fighting and pursue every option available to get a new vote taken -- this time, by all of the Zulu members.

Raspanti says any ruling in Civil District Court is subject to appeal to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal.

Stewart, in his letter to members, says the club's future is in jeopardy if Weadd wins this lawsuit.  Stewart wrote, "Without our current revenue streams, Zulu in effect would have to strongly consider bankruptcy protection and scaling back or foregoing Mardi Gras 2013."

Ultimately, Judge Medley will decide what will happen with this case Thursday morning.

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