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YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul seeks millions in string of lawsuits

YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul is no stranger to lawsuits. Since becoming executive director of YouthPride in June 2009, he has personally filed three lawsuits handled in federal court — including one showing that he began searching for other jobs within months of taking the helm of the youth group.

Like McPhaul’s recent lawsuit in Fulton County against a car dealership, the federal lawsuits are all filed “pro se,” or with McPhaul representing himself instead of having an attorney. The lawsuits are filed on behalf of McPhaul as an individual, not as a representative of YouthPride. One remains pending.

Court records show McPhaul has filed six lawsuits handled by the federal court system since 1994, all representing himself without an attorney. Defendants include at least four of his previous employers, including three prominent Atlanta nonprofits: AID Atlanta, National AIDS Education & Services for Minorities, and St. Joseph’s Mercy Care.

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YouthPride ED sues Mercedes-Benz for nearly $1 million over an oil leak

YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul filed a lawsuit for nearly $1 million against an Atlanta Mercedes-Benz dealership on Feb. 28 saying its technicians never fixed a continuous oil leak in his vehicle.

McPhaul is suing the car dealership as an individual, not on behalf of the LGBT youth group.

McPhaul and YouthPride also recently countersued Inman Park UMC after the church, the agency's landlord, alleges YouthPride, an organization serving gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer youth agest 13-24 in metro Atlanta, has not paid more than $40,000 in rent.

McPhaul filed his lawsuit on Feb. 28 against Mercedes-Benz dealership RBM North of Atlanta “pro se” — meaning he is representing himself — for nearly $1 million because he claims  employees at the Atlanta dealership called him “paranoid” for his ongoing complaints of an oil leak.

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[UPDATE] YouthPride files counterclaim against landlord Inman Park United Methodist Church

YouthPride is digging in to fight the lawsuit filed against the LGBT youth group by its landlord Inman Park United Methodist Church, which says the LGBT youth group nonprofit owes more than $40,000 in back rent.

A court date is set for March 20 in Fulton Magistrate Court to try to settle the dispute, according to online documents filed with Fulton Magistrate Court. The notice was mailed out to the church on Tuesday, March 13.

Inman Park UMC filed its lawsuit against YouthPride in Fulton Magistrate Court on Feb. 17 including an eviction notice to be served on the organization mandating it leave the premises.

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Landlord’s attorney: ‘No good deed goes unpunished’ with YouthPride

The attorney for Inman Park United Methodist Church, which leases space to YouthPride and is suing after months of unpaid rent, strongly disputes a charge from the LGBT youth agency's executive director that the organization has any legal claims against the church.

"As it relates to the $40,000 rent, which we have always said was overpriced… the bottom line is this: We have legal claims against the church as well," YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul told attendees at a March 6 town hall meeting, which was hosted by an independent task force concerned about the future of LGBT youth services in Atlanta.

"We had legal claims against the church as well," McPhaul repeated. "So there were certain things that we actually missed out on as a result of certain things the church did not comply with — so we haven't answered the lawsuit yet, but we will, and soon."

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Consultant sues YouthPride for nonpayment of services

A nonprofit consultant has filed a lawsuit against YouthPride alleging she has not been paid for her services, while YouthPride's executive director counters the consultant herself breached the contract.

In the lawsuit filed in Fulton Magistrate Court on Dec. 5, 2011, Dana Milling states that YouthPride owes her $1,100 for consulting services conducted in May and June 2011. She also alleges the agency owes her $24 for returned check fees.

A call to Milling was not immediately returned.

“YouthPride Inc. owes the plaintiff $1,100 for consulting services provided May and June 2011. Additionally, $24 is owed for return check fees due to the defendant's bank returning two checks because of insufficient funds,” Milling states in her complaint.

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Independent task force releases YouthPride findings ahead of tonight’s community forum

The independent task force investigating the ongoing viability of YouthPride released its findings today ahead of a planned community forum set for 7 p.m. tonight at Saint Mark United Methodist Church.

The report was originally intended to be completed last month, but was “delayed due to a failure of YouthPride leadership to adhere to their previously agreed cooperation with the Task Force,” according to task force member Charlie Stadtlander.

Among the report's findings are that the organization is violating its own bylaws by not having a fully staffed board of directors, YouthPride has no evidence its filed 941 payroll tax filings for Sept. 2011 or Dec. 2011, personal medical records of clients are unaccounted – possibly violating HIPPA regulations –  and the organization's last annual budget was ended in September 2011.

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Task force: No more cooperation from YouthPride officials to determine organization’s viability

A planned Feb. 24 report assessing YouthPride's viability as it moves into the future was not finished because documents were not made available from the organization's leadership to volunteer task force members as promised, according to a statement released today.

A community forum on the viability of YouthPride is set for Tuesday, March 6, at 7 p.m. at St. Mark United Methodist Church. YouthPride, founded in 1995, serves lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth ages 13-24 in metro Atlanta.

In December, the agency's executive director, Terence McPhaul, made a public plea to raise $40,000 or it would be forced to close in 60 days. That money has not been raised, but the agency continues to operate despite questions about whether it is a legal entity because it has no formal board of directors and only an executive director who is operating the agency.