Puyallup Herald

Spooner brothers in corporate deadlock over farm

The Spooner Farms berry stand in Puyallup in 2016.
The Spooner Farms berry stand in Puyallup in 2016. jbessex@gateline.com

The brothers and owners of Ken M. Spooner Farms are in corporate deadlock, according to a lawsuit filed in Pierce County Superior Court on Jan. 4.

The lawsuit was filed by Jeffrey Spooner against his brother, Timothy Spooner, and Spooner Farms.

Jeff and Tim have held all outstanding shares of the company since 2013. In 2014, the “relationship between Jeff and Tim soured,” according to the court filing.

Since then, the two shareholders have been unable to “reach a consensus on daily operations” of the farms and “remained deadlocked, stymieing the corporation's activities.”

Jeff also claimed Tim denied him access to corporate assets, including access to the Yelm farm. Spooner Farms owns four farms in Yelm and one 26-acre farm in Puyallup.

Jeff and Tim “attempted negotiations to break the corporate deadlock or otherwise dissolve the corporation,” but all attempts have failed.

The filing calls for an order “dissolving Ken M. Spooner Farms and allocating the assets among the shareholders,” an accounting of both assets and an order of sale for all properties.

Sale of the farms are not a concern at this time, said Russell Knight, attorney for Jeff Spooner, adding the owners are looking to continue their operations. Selling would be an action the owners could take in the future, if desired, after the court determines how the farm will be operated.

Knight doesn’t anticipate any changes in the Puyallup farm, he added.

Wendy Lyon, attorney for Tim Spooner, echoed there is no concern for sale at this time.

The court process is still in very early stages,with a trial anticipated for Jan. 3.

Allison Needles: 253-597-8507, @herald_allison