Alumni Association ordered back to court

January 8, 2014 • Local News

The New Mexico Military Institute’s former Alumni Association has been ordered back to court to explain to an Eddy County judge why she should not find the group in contempt of court for continuing to use the Institute’s name.

District Court Judge Jane Schuler-Gray has directed the former Association’s representatives to appear Feb. 20.

The court placed a preliminary injunction Nov. 18, ordering the Association to stop using the name “New Mexico Military Institute,” “NMMI,” the Crest, the Stack Logo, and the Rifle, Cannon and Saber [auth] Coat of Arms, or any other marks, logos or intellectual property of the Institute.

Since that time, the Association changed its name to “Institute Alumni Association,” and informed its membership of the new name.

Attorneys for the New Mexico Military Institute wrote a letter to the Association asking them to stop doing business as “the Institute Alumni Association.”

“The use of the word ‘Institute’ violated the court order and will undoubtedly cause a great deal of confusion as the public could very likely be led to believe a working relationship between the entities continues to exist when in fact it does not,” NMMI attorney Parker Folse wrote in a letter Dec. 18, to Association attorney Jeffrey Dahl.

NMMI attorneys filed a petition Monday calling for the action, after the Association did not respond to this request.

“We feel that’s a clear violation of the court’s preliminary injunction,” Folse said Wednesday.

Shuler-Grey found that good cause existed to require the defendant to appear and show cause as to why they are not in contempt of court for failure to abide by the preliminary injunction, according to her order issued Wednesday.

A trial date is set for Oct. 6, when Shuler-Grey is expected to rule on the remainder of a lawsuit filed by NMMI against the Association. NMMI is asking the court to freeze the Association’s $5 million in assets, transfer the funds to the NMMI Foundation, and order the Association to account for funds received as an agent of the school.

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