In what he calls a “travesty of justice,” Villa Ridge resident Art LeBeau will now have to pay $1,950 in legal fees and will pay even more once fines are assessed.
At a hearing Thursday, 12th District Associate Circuit Judge Richard Scheibe, Warrenton, approved a motion by attorneys representing County Counselor Mark Vincent forcing LeBeau to pay Vincent’s legal fees.
The judge also will be assessing a fine on LeBeau, but that exact amount has not yet been released.
LeBeau is attempting to recoup fees he was court-ordered to pay after he and fellow plaintiff Eric Reichert skipped a deposition last summer.
At a hearing in October, Judge Scheibe called the lawsuit frivolous.
At the hearing Wednesday, LeBeau’s motion for a new judge was denied which caused him to say the court no longer had any jurisdiction in this case.
“I will immediately be appealing this to a higher court,” LeBeau said. “I want it heard by a judge who is not biased.”
Scheibe is the seventh judge to be involved in this case after many others have recused themselves since last year.
Judge Scheibe then told LeBeau he could make no sense of his motion to quash a garnishment that had already been paid and asked LeBeau if he was going to willingly dismiss the motion or amend it.
“You’re trying to box me into a corner,” LeBeau said. “This is not frivolous and I’m not going to stand for this. How does a person get justice?”
LeBeau added he has been representing himself in lawsuits for 60 years.
“I will file a complaint against you,” he told the judge. “I’m not an attorney and I’m tired of being looked down on.”
Judge Scheibe told LeBeau he was not able to find a cause of action in the current motion and offered LeBeau the opportunity to amend his motion before the next hearing in January.
The ongoing litigation stems from a lawsuit originally filed two years ago in September 2015, claiming the Franklin County Municipal Court was set up illegally and County Counselor Mark Vincent unlawfully hired a lobbying firm to help with state legislation creating the court.
In the specific case against Vincent, LeBeau unsuccessfully argued the attorney representing Vincent, Steven Kuenzel, was an interloper who was only hired by Franklin County and had no standing in the case.
Because they believed the attorney and judge had no standing, the pair skipped a deposition last summer and after the case was dismissed with prejudice, they were court-ordered to repay costs for the deposition of more than $1,500.
LeBeau refused to pay and as a result, Vincent filed an execution order to recoup the money owed to the county, which had paid for his legal defense in the lawsuit.
After more than six months of legal wrangling, LeBeau paid $1,641 in court-ordered restitution and additional fees.
The payment came after the property in Sullivan, owned by LeBeau, was seized by the Franklin County sheriff and was scheduled to be auctioned to the highest bidder.
At that time, LeBeau stated the only reason he is paying the fees is to “avoid a stress situation for his tenant,” and threatened future litigation in the matter.
In April, LeBeau field the current motion to recoup the fees he was court ordered to pay.
Although the original case was dismissed with prejudice by Circuit Judge Ada Brehe-Krueger, whom LeBeau also filed a claim against, he is still arguing the merits of that case.
“You can do what you want,” LeBeau said. “The interloper was a well-known attorney and Franklin County was not a party to this. This was allowed because of politics. I don’t lie and have never lied in this court, but they have.”
LeBeau added he now has no choice but to take the lawsuit to the next level.