New Lawsuit Filed Against The City of DothanRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jul 19 2012 10:56 PM
DOTHAN: A lawsuit was filed by a Cowarts Alabama business against the City of Dothan in Houston County Circuit Court today.
The case filed by S & S Devlopment, LLP ET AL and Home Oil Company against the City of Dothan. The case was assigned to Twentieth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Larry Anderson.
The case involves the condemnation of property located at 3090 Westgate Parkway in Dothan. It involves condemnation actions initiated by the City of Dothan to take the property through condemnation actions.
The case started in Houston County Probate Court. In that court Probate Judge Luke Cooley entered a judgment in favor of the City of Dothan in the amount of $ 117,400.00. The case was appealed from Probate Court to Houston County Circuit Court. The original case was assigned to Twentieth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Brad Mendheim.
The new complaint makes allegations against the City of Dothan that before the Circuit Court trial the City of Dothan deposited $ 117,000.00 and took possession of the land it sought to condemn. After taking possession the City of Dothan completed road projects on this land. The complaint reads Dothan made permanent changes to the property.
The complaint states that Dothan has not acquired title to the land and has not acquired title to the property. The complaint says this can not be done.
According to the complaint in late 2011 Circuit Judge Brad Mendheim heard the case. The case was heard by the trial judge only and no jury. Following the trial Judge Mendheim entered a judgement against the City of Dothan in the amount of $ 835,205.60. This amount represented $ 507,530.80 in principal an $ 327,675.00 in pre-judgment interest up to the date of the judgement.
The complaint reads that the City of Dothan has appealed the judgment to the Alabama Supreme Court which was done on 4/9/2012. That appeal is currently pending.
On May 15, 2012 the City of Dothan deposited $ 327,675.60, but alleges Dothan did not deposit the full amount prior to the filing of the appeal. The complaint alleges the City of Dothan remains in possession of the property, however has refused or failed to deposit the full amount of the Circuit Court judgment.
The complaint reads Dothan is incapable of vacating the property pending the appeal.
The complaint reads that Dothan’s failure to comply, their taking possession of the property after April 9, 2012 without first depositing the full amount to the Circuit Court, constitutes a separate action to be filed against the City of Dothan. The new complaint requests a money judgment against the City of Dothan to fully compensate for Dothan taking and damaging their property due to it’s possession, failure to vacate and use of the condemned land. It also states Dothan has trespassed.
The complaint asks for Dothan to deposit the full amount, a Circuit Court judgment and all litigation costs.
The law firm representing S and S and Home Oil Company is Helmsing, Leach, Herlong, Newman, and Rouse of Mobile and Capps and Associates in Dothan.
This case has been the result of some serious contentions amount the commission. Some of the most contention has been with Commissioner Hamp Baxley and the Dothan City Attorney Freddie Len White. The contention is in the way the City of Dothan has handled the case and the potential extreme costs this could cost the City of Dothan.