BlueGem has demanded a jury trial to hear “all issues and matters” related to the claims.Ellis had filed his complaint in March alleging illegal payments and breach of contract relating to the agreement last year between BlueGem and former Clerk Mitch Needelman to digitize court documents. Ellis has repeatedly called the contract a “sham.”
In a March 28 letter to BlueGem, attorneys for Ellis informed BlueGem that there was no expectation of any “further performance by BlueGem under the scanning contract” until either the legal action is resolved or the Clerk’s office notifies BlueGem to resume scanning. The letter called this action “abatement” and said that the contract was “not” terminated.BlueGem said in its answer, filed with the court on April 25, that it contracted with the real party in interest, the Brevard County Clerk of Court's office, and that it "did not contract with a specific individual as Scott Ellis desires the Court and the public to believe." BlueGem maintains that "Ellis is merely the head of the legal entity" and is estopped from proclaiming the scanning contract entered into by his predecessor as invalid, unenforceable, illegal, or void.
Ellis had claimed that an initial payment to BlueGem of $510,000 had been made prior to the execution of the contract. In their answer, BlueGem says those funds were “a deposit for negotiation relating to the scanning contract and such amounts were refundable if terms could not be agreed upon.”In their counterclaim, BlueGem says that it would have fulfilled its obligations to date, but that Ellis has failed to provide “a sufficient volume of documents.” They also claim “Ellis’ ignorance of the required design and testing procedures prior to December 2012, which were needed prior to the implementation of full-scale scanning.”
BlueGem has requested costs, expenses, attorney’s fees, and “amounts due and payable under the Scanning Contract and Amendment.”In their response to Ellis’ initial claims, BlueGem answered each paragraph, denying many due to lack of “knowledge.” Many of these claims were specific to actions taken by Needleman and his office.
However, BlueGem does deny specific claims of its culpability in other matters:1. That BlueGem’s staff adapted a 113-page ITN from Palm Beach into a “vague 11-page document to mirror the contract BlueGem submitted”
2. That BlueGem assisted a Clerk’s employee in answering questions from other competing vendors