Ohio Citizen Action won't release member list to refinery lawyer
First Amendment cited by group working with refinery neighbors
Yesterday, Ohio Citizen Action responded to subpoena requests made by the lawyer representing the Sunoco Oregon Refinery by filing a "motion to quash" the subpoena.
The subpoena is part of the lawsuit. Ohio Citizen Action is not a party to the lawsuit, and was subpoenaed as a third party.
"Sunoco, Inc. knows that everything they demand is either already publicly available, constitutionally protected, or nonexistent. Their real purpose is to intimidate citizens who are compiling evidence that pollution from their Oregon refinery is harming neighbors. Sunoco Inc. has another recourse: it could clean up its refinery," Ohio Citizen Action stated in the memorandum filed.
The Sunoco, Inc. subpoena demanded the following from Ohio Citizen Action:
"Ohio Citizen Action through staff and volunteers has undertaken several canvasses with the defendent's neighbors. Several of these sessions have been held this year, with the most comprehensive one being on August 14, 2004. A one-page interview question form with answers was collected from 473 persons. These may include identifying information of the respondents and are privileged by the First Amendment . . . or as trade secrets used in the deponent's business to plan its future educational activities," the memorandum said.
Ohio Citizen Action was served the subpoena on July 8, 2004.
Louis Tosi, representing Sunoco Oregon Refinery, is a lawyer with Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in Toledo.
Bruce French, representing Ohio Citizen Action, is an independent attorney in Lima, Ohio.
Ohio Citizen Action is Ohio's largest environmental organization, with 100,000 dues-paying members. Non-profit and non-partisan, it was founded in 1975.