(UPDATED WITH ITV AMERICA STATEMENT) A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has made it clear to ITV America and its parent company that it must comply with her ruling that restored Scott and Deirdre Gurney to the top of their Gurney Productions — or else.
In a sternly worded report filed Friday (read it here), Judge Susan Bryant-Deason said ITV committed eight violations of a preliminary injunction order she issued in March that restored the pair to the top of the production company behind shows like Duck Dynasty. The judge said she has fined ITV $12,000 for the violations but agreed to waive it if the company complied with the order going forward.
“Plaintiffs assert that they made their best efforts to comply with the preliminary injunction, but the court finds otherwise,” the judge wrote.
Among the violations were not allowing the Gurneys access to the company email accounts, providing less than the required $500,000 in development money, hiring and firing privileges and access to QuickBooks.
“We will hold ITV and its counsel to their promise in Court that there will be no further violations going forward,” the Gurneys’ attorney Michael Weinstein said today. “The Gurneys may now proceed, unhindered, in the development and sale of a fantastic slate of unique programming that made this company great in the first place.”
“This court order, with which ITV will comply, is the result of the Gurney’s failed effort to have ITV held in contempt of court,” said ITV America in a statement today. “After ruling against such consideration, the court imposed modest sanctions and then ordered them suspended.”
“ITV continues to focus with total commitment on the trial phase of this case during which time a jury will see what we believe is a wealth of evidence of the Gurneys’ outrageous and illegal behavior, and their massive fraud against the Company,” the statement added. “We are anxious to have our case heard on the merits.”
ITV took over Gurney Productions five years ago, but the Gurneys held the remaining interest, had two seats on the board and ran day-to-day operations. After what at first was a leave of absence quickly escalated amid suspicion that the pair was violating non-compete agreements, ITV fired and replaced the Gurneys in December, leading to the court showdown.