September 7, 2006
St. Louis, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon today obtained a temporary restraining order against a now-closed St. Louis wedding photography business that collected payment in full from at least 60 Missouri consumers but failed to deliver the photos as promised. Nixon's lawsuit against Horton Photography seeks restitution for consumers, preliminary and permanent injunctions, and appropriate penalties. Horton Photography had two locations, 775 Carondelet, Suite 305 and 8025 Forsyth Boulevard, both in Clayton.
Today's consent temporary restraining order freezes the business assets of the defendants, prohibits them from contracting for wedding photography services, and requires to turn over to the Attorney General's Office all computer disks, photo negatives and consumer contracts they have. Last month, Al Horton informed Nixon's office that he had turned over all his files to a colleague, Tom Warwick of Warwick Photography. Warwick has agreed to provide the Horton files in his possession to the Attorney General.
Nixon said Horton Photography contracted with consumers to provide photography services, including taking and producing wedding photos, albums and related photo products. The lawsuit alleges that the defendant collected payment in full up front and took photos at the weddings, but failed to provide either the photos or refunds, despite repeated promises and frequent excuses.
The Attorney General's Office has received 14 formal complaints against Horton Photography representing $52,995 in payments to the defendant. All told, Nixon's office is aware of at least 60 consumers who have outstanding or unfulfilled contracts with the defendant worth an estimated $300,000 total value in monies paid to the defendants.
"A wedding day should be one of the happiest memories of someone's life," Nixon said. "For too many couples, that memory is incomplete because they don't have the photos they paid for. We will do what we can to get them the refunds or the photos in this situation."
Nixon is asking the court to order the defendants to pay restitution to consumers and to pay appropriate penalties to the state. He also is seeking an injunction to prevent them from violating Missouri consumer protection laws in the future. A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for Sept. 18.