By: Rob Harris
Over the years, I’ve cautioned clients, friends and family members about the perils of the Ostrich Syndrome, i.e. ignoring the irritating, but important requirements of life in a civilized society. Ignore a summons for jury duty and, based on where you live, you may face a fine or even criminal prosecution. Forget to timely request an automatic extension of the April 15 tax filing deadline, and the IRS may subject you to a multi-year Kafka-esque adventure.
And—if you happen to own a golf course—don’t pay $2700 owed to an electric contractor, and the sheriff may put your course on the auction block. Such is the predicament confronting the owner of the owner of LaFayette Hills Golf & Country Club in Syracuse, New York.
Palmer Electric company performed work at the club in early 2007. The club didn’t pay, Palmer Electric sued for $13,000, and obtained a favorable court decision. Apparently, the club stiffed Palmer Electric on the final $2700, and Palmer’s attorney (Gary Collison)—wanting to capture the club’s attention—took the “extremely unusual” step of seeking a sheriff’s sale of property currently valued at $3.4 million to satisfy the debt.
Attorney Collison and the club owner appear to agree that the auction will not be necessary in order for payment to be made. The Ostrich Syndrome does come with a price, however, The course owner will be responsible for all costs incurred in promoting the sheriff’s sale.
Next imaginary, entertaining scenario–course owner gets called for jury duty on one of Attorney Collison’s other cases. I bet that summons would not be ignored.