Hermitage Club founder fights arrest order

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HARTFORD, CONN. — Hermitage Club founder Jim Barnes is fighting an order for his arrest stemming from a missed court appearance last month.

"The basis for this motion is that the subpoena was served upon Defendant James Barnes while he was in Vermont, and not Connecticut," Barnes' attorney Edward C. Taiman Jr. of Sabia Taiman LLC of Hartford, Conn. wrote last week in a motion to re-argue and to reject capias, a legal term for an order to arrest someone.

The state civil court in Hartford issued the order in late September when Barnes did not comply with a subpoena to appear at a hearing related to Reinhart Foodservice LLC, which was awarded more than $1.5 million in damages in the court in May. Since the subpoena was served in Vermont, Taiman wrote, it was "ineffective."

The subpoena had been read to Barnes in Rutland on Sept. 6, according to the motion. Twenty days later, he did not appear for the hearing in the Connecticut court and a judge issued a capias for his arrest.

"A Connecticut subpoena has no authority beyond the borders of the State of Connecticut," Taiman wrote. "Further, it appears Plaintiff herein did not follow the proper procedure to subpoena ... Barnes for a deposition in Vermont to be used at a hearing here in Connecticut by first obtaining a commission."

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Case law from the Connecticut Supreme Court cited by Taiman says certain statutes allow "a party to apply to the court for a commission to take the deposition of an out-of-state witness. Once the commission is granted by the court in this state, a subpoena can be obtained in the proposed deponent's state to force the deponent to attend a deposition in his state."

Taiman also questioned whether the state court was aware that the subpoena was served to Barnes in Vermont. He asked the court to reject or recall the capias or take whatever action is considered appropriate.

Barnes has a home in Connecticut and owned 23 Spring Hill in Dover, Vt., which was transferred to a mortgage lender in a foreclosure action. It is unclear if he owns any local properties.

Under a reorganization plan proposed by his wife Donna Barnes in her bankruptcy case, the family would sell a residence in Watch Hill, R.I.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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