Docs filed in Northern California
Journey has been plagued with another lawsuit amongst its members. Neal Schon is suing Jonathan Cain to “obtain critical financial information Schon has been trying to obtain but has been denied,” according to court documents filed in Contra Costa County California.
Both Schon and Cain are joint owners, members and managers of Nomota, LLC, which was established around 1998 as the operating entity for Journey. In the lawsuit, Schon states he “has the right to access and control Nomota’s books and records” and have “unfetted access to Nomota’s records so that he can oversee and manage Nomota/Journey.”
The suit claims the records include financial details “necessary for Schon and his representatives to determine the portion of Journey’s profits to which he is entitled as the founder and president of Journey.” Schon claims his “right to Journey profits is being controlled by Cain” and has been unable to retrieve full access despite many requests and efforts.
Schon, who founded the band in 1972 and remains the only consistent member since its inception, claims his “financial authority of Nomata” has been improperly restricted and blocked by Cain,” who Schon brought into the band in the 1980s.
The suit claims Schon has attempted to avoid legal action after Cain and his representatives have “represented that Schon would be granted access” to the American Express account. Schon claims to still not have access to the AMEX records and that “Cain has not been forthcoming and cooperative, making this action necessary.”
Schon states “Cain is not allowed any greater financial authority or access than Schon” and that “Schon also has the right to access the books and records of Nomota.”
Schon is requesting a “preliminary and permanent injunction requiring Cain to take all actions with AMEX to authorize Schon to directly access Nomota’s AMEX records.” The lawsuit claims that “Cain is interfering with Journey, refusing to respond to booking opportunities, blocking payment to band members, crew, and vendors, refusing to execute necessary operating documents, and in other ways as well.”
Cain is being accused of refusing to “deal with critical, time-sensitive touring contracts for Journey’s 2023 tour and ensure payment for band members and crew, who Cain contents are ‘non-essential.'” Can’s conduct is described as “inexplicable.” The lawsuit also claims that Cain set up Nomata’s AMEX account “without Schon’s consent or knowledge, with only Cain as the account holder.”
Schon refused our request for comment at this time, but did share a statement on Facebook.
“The only comment I’ll make at this time is it’s all very unfortunate and tried for over a year to attain all our corporate records for Nomota with many personal e-mails to Jon as well as many legal letter stating it’s my legal right to see all but I was left with no choice but to take it legal. There’s much more … since I filed I’ll be following my attorneys advice and not speak until we are in court where I’ll not have a problem at all. It is what it is,” he writes.
Schon and his wife Michaele share on Facebook that the bank has confirmed that Cain added his wife Paula to the bank account “behind Neal Schon’s back and violated his directive as The President and Founder of Journey, against Neal’s wishes and per the court agreement.” The post was later updated to state that “Jon Cain and Paula White want to kick out Neal Schön’s atty who won the right for Journey to carry on and Tour !! What is wrong with them ? Why do they want to harm Neal Schön & Journey? They work hard to harm and want to take the band down? Why? God please continue to protect Neal Schön who keeps Journey alive!”
A preliminary hearing is set for March 3rd. Cain has yet to respond to the suit. It’s unclear how the situation will affect the band’s upcoming 50th Anniversary Celebration Freedom Tour 2023.
This is the latest lawsuit that’s emblazoned the band. In September, Steve Perry filed a petition against his former Journey bandmates Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain over the use of 20 of the band’s songs as registered trademarks. Between February and May 2022, Schon and Cain were granted trademarks for some of the band’s biggest hits, like “Separate Ways,” “Open Arms” and “Anyway You Want It” for use on merchandising, such as hats, jackets, shirts, etc., without Perry’s consent.
Schon and Cain were the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against drummer Steve Smith and bassist Ross Valory in 2020 for attempting corporate coup d’état. Schon and Cain filed a lawsuit against their former bandmates, and accused them of sowing discord among the band members by engaging in self-dealing and selfishly putting their interests ahead of the band’s and sought $10 million for damages.