Band pays debt, gets gear back in time to perform in Springfield
By GEORGE MAZURAK
of the Tribune's staff 3/6/97
The Reverend Horton Heat finally left Columbia yesterday afternoon, nearly 15
hours after Boone county sheriff's deputies impounded the band's gear on a
court-ordered judgment in a North Carolina lawsuit.
Band leader Jim Heath questioned why law enforcement became involved in a
civil dispute and deprived him of his means of livelihood.
But with a show scheduled in Springfield last night, Heath and the band
agreed to pay a $12,000 settlement to The Mad Monk, a Wilmington, NC
nightclub that sued Heath's band for breach of contract after a canceled 1994
The settlement was reached about 4 PM, Columbia lawyer Bogdan Susan said,
after discussions with lawyers for the Wilmington nightclub. "We had a
severe time problem, and they had to be on the road to Springfield," Susan
said of the settlement made by his clients.
About 1 AM yesterday, after the Dallas rockabilly band finished its act at
the Blue Note in downtown Columbia, deputies served a court order issued Feb.
27 by a North Carolina judge.
In a lawsuit that Heath's band never answered, the judge issued a $9,510
judgement against the band. After tripling damages and adding interest and
fees, the bill came to $30,278.
Under Missouri law, the county sheriff is responsible for seizing property
when a debtor fails to pay a civil suit judgement. State law exempts "tools
of the trade" from being seized to settle civil lawsuit judgements. The law
places a $2,000 ceiling on the value of tools that can be exempted.
Heath valued the instruments and gear at more than $50,000.
That's not the way it is down in Texas, Heath said yesterday.
"The state of Missouri is looking kind of un-American, to me," Heath said.