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Brooks, Bulletproof File Suit Against NJRC, Individuals

Published: June 1, 2010 11:40 am ET

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It has been reported that in a blockbuster complaint dated May 12, 2010, plaintiffs Jeffrey Brooks and Bulletproof are suing Frank Zanzuccki, both individually and in his capacity as executive director of the New Jersey Racing Commission, and the following, all both individually and in their respective capacity as commissioners of the NJRC: James Aaron, Anthony Abbatiello, Anthony Caputo, Noel Love Gross, Francis X. Keegan, Jr. and Edward McGlynn.

An article by harnessracing.com states that the defendants are accused of not allowing plaintiffs to race their horses in New Jersey by indefinitely suspending their licenses on February 2, 2010. According to the complaint, the plaintiffs are seeking damages of at least $6 million and “an injunction forever and permanently enjoining Defendants, acting by and through the Commission, from interfering with Plaintiffs’ complete and unfettered ability to exercise all rights available in accord with the licenses they have been granted.”

Harnessracing.com states that, according to the complaint, after their licenses were suspended in early February (and, according to the complaint, the plaintiffs didn’t receive any notice about the suspensions until about Feb. 15), plaintiffs wrote two letters to the NJRC, the second of which included a copy of the stay that the United States Trotting Association had entered over their previous suspension of plaintiffs, which, in theory, allowed both Jeffrey Brooks and Bulletproof to race their horses in the United States pending an outcome of the original suspension entered by the Ontario Racing Commission on Jan. 26, 2010.

According to the article, the complaint states that on March 1, 2010, the NJRC granted plaintiffs request for a hearing and submitted it to the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law. But they would not lift the suspensions. While that hearing hasn’t been scheduled, there was a hearing at Freehold Raceway on April 27 by the Commission before its “judges” (in quotes in the complaint), none of whom, according to the complaint, are either judges or lawyers.

By decision dated May 5, 2010, the Commission’s judges “sustained the suspension on the grounds that the ORC attempted to schedule a hearing” and on reciprocity (that is, New Jersey was accepting the ORC Canadian suspension).

One week later, the pending lawsuit was filed in federal court in New Jersey.

Some of Bulletproof’s horses are reportedly at a farm in New York with trainer Paul Reid, and others are being raced in Pennsylvania by Ken Rucker.

(Harnessracing.com)


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