In a nutshell, after years of court battles and discussion, the Court of Appeal of the State of California, Third Appellate District upholds the trial court's decision and modified it to include email addresses and to provide it in electronic form.
[Wyndham and WorldMark (i.e, the WM BoD and its attorneys) were strongly rebuked by this panel of judges. The decision was unanimous.]
It was found in Superior Court that the membership register was to be turned over to Mr. Miller, but W & W kept appealing. The appeal has been decided against W & W and for Miller. It's really quite an entertaining read.
Some of the high points:
pp 3, 2nd paragraph wrote:
<snip>The trial court denied the petition because the alternative was not reasonable as too costly and ordered Worldmark to allow Miller to inspect and copy Worldmark‟s membership register, including the names, addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, and voting rights of its members.
pp 17, 18 wrote:
B. The Alternative was Unreasonable
Much credit must be given to Mr. Miller. along with the Firm Girard & Gibbs, and specifically Mr. Jonathan Levine and Ms. Elizabeth Pritzker.
The trial court made several findings with respect to the reasonableness of the alternative presented by Worldmark. It found that the cost to Miller of the proposed alternative would be one dollar per member for alternative mailing, resulting in a cost of over $260,000. Footnote 7 - Worldmark argues for the first time in its reply brief that Miller never tendered evidence that the cost of mailing under the alternative would be at least $260,000. Arguments raised for the first time in the reply brief are untimely and may be disregarded. (Hernandez v. Vitamin Shoppe Industries, Inc. (2009) 174 Cal.App.4th 1441, 1461, fn. 10.) In any event, we may take judicial notice under Evidence Code section 452, subdivision (h), that the current cost of a first class stamp is 44 cents, thus for postage alone (not including the cost of paper, copying, sorting, and handling) the cost to mail 260,000 first class letters would be $114,400.00, an amount that is still prohibitive for the average member.
Without the intervention of Levine & Pritzker, Mr. Miller would likely have been overwhelmed by the big guns called in by W & W. Yes, an appeal to the California Supreme Court may be made, but they are unlikely to review the issue.
Thanks Miller, Levine, & Pritzker for all of the hard work!!!!!!