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Republic of Korea Veterans Association Invalid Election Class Action

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This class action is being brought against the Korean Veterans Association of the USA Western Region, by individual Man Kyu Choi. The details are somewhat difficult to understand, since it’s a pro se action brought (bravely) by a person with a very uneven command of English. It seems to pertain to an election for president of the organization that plaintiff Choi believes is invalid. 

The class for this action appears to be other Korean veterans who belong to the organization—and no, we’re not talking about veterans of the Korean War, but veterans belonging to the Republic of Korea Army Association in Southern California.

The issue seems to be an election to the post of president of the Korean Veterans Association of the USA, Western Region. The complaint alleges that defendant Jae Kook Wee, “who did all the illegal act involving presidential election” although, being president of the organization at the time, he apparently should have been neutral. The complaint further alleges that Wee did not follow the instructions of the organizations headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, but excluded seven of fifty-eight delegates at his own discretion, and did not make a list of delegates. 

The party elected is named as Jae Kwon Kim. The complaint claims that he was not eligible to be president since the organization’s bylaws reject a person “who has been dismissed or disciplined by the provisions of this [sic] bylaws[.]” According to the complaint, Kim was “expelled from the Korean American Federation of LA” because “he tried to reformat the organization…”

The complaint claims that Wee illegally made Kim president of the veterans’ association, for two reasons. First, it alleges that Kim had never even been a member of the organization until just before the election. Second, although the language in this section isn’t clear, it seems that Kim made some kind of payoff or payoffs. (“His check brought by one of the members receiving from Mr. KIM during the election campaign can be proven for the evidence.”)

In addition, the complaint charges another individual defendant, Dae In Lim, the election committee chairman, with negligence, for doing nothing to stop it. 

The complaint suggests that the Korean media in the area reported on the fraudulence of the election and can provide evidence. 

What is the plaintiff asking for? A temporary and preliminary injunction against the organization and other defendants. The law cited is California’s Code of Civil Procedure § 526, on when injunctions may be granted, and California’s Corporate Code § 6330, pertaining to members’ rights to see records of members and voting rights. 

In addition, the plaintiff asks the court to remove Kim from office, discipline Wee and Lim, make the organization’s records available, and dissolve the organizing committee according to the group’s bylaws.

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