Lawsuit over Jonestown Memorial Moves into Third Year

02-02-jynonaThe lawsuit which Jynona Norwood, head of the Guyana Tribute Foundation, brought against Evergreen Cemetery over the Jonestown memorial is still pending.

Filed in mid-May 2011, the lawsuit alleged that the foundation had a valid contract to erect a memorial at Evergreen, and that the cemetery violated the contract when it entered separate negotiations with the Jonestown Memorial Fund. Evergreen replied that Norwood does not have a contract for a monument at the site and, by extension, cannot then dictate what may or may not be done there.

The suit has made little significant progress since its early flurry of activity in May 2011. Norwood petitioned the court to act as her own attorney in the matter, but was denied when the court ruled that state law precludes an officer of a non-profit foundation from acting as its legal representative. Following the resignation of her attorney earlier this year, however, Norwood has no one to represent her in this action.

In the meantime, the Evergreen Cemetery Association, the defendant in the lawsuit, has informed the court of its readiness to proceed to trial.

Norwood initially sought two temporary restraining orders against the cemetery, first seeking a court order against further work on the site for the new memorial and – when that failed, in large part because the work was complete – seeking a ruling against a dedication service planned for May 29, 2011. The second request also failed, and the service went forward.

Several motions on the case have resulted in either delays or requests for additional information. The next court date is set for 12 November 2013.