Couple sues church over past due property taxes

Kelly Holleran Nov. 24, 2008, 4:00am

A Jefferson County couple has filed a breach of contract complaint against a church, alleging it failed to pay back property taxes on a property the couple purchased.

Adam and Shannon Denard claim Delores Davis and House of Praise Deliverance Ministries agreed to be responsible for taxes for years prior to 2008 as part of a contract signed on Feb. 21, according to the complaint filed Nov. 17 in Jefferson County District Court.

But after the Denards made their down payment and first note payment, they learned that taxes had not been paid since 2005, the suit states.

Even though Davis and House of Praise were made aware of the situation, they refused to pay taxes, the Denards claim.

In turn, the Denards were forced to pay back taxes and deducted their payments from their monthly notes, according to the complaint.

"Defendants wrongfully attempted to evict Plaintiffs through a fraudulent forcible detainer proceeding," the suit states.

In addition, Davis and House of Praise have refused to accept any of the Denards' payments and now claim the Denards are in default, even though they have complied with the contract, the Denards claim.

The Denards are seeking damages and title to the property or the value of their improvements to the property.

The couple is seeking unspecified actual, consequential, incidental, liquidated, mental anguish, statutory and exemplary damages, plus a declaration from the court that the Denards are record title owners of the property, attorney's fees, court costs, prejudgment and post-judgment interest and all other relief to which they are entitled.

The Denards are represented by Wyatt D. Snider and Jason M. Byrd of Snider and Byrd in Beaumont.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield of the 136th District Court.

Case No. D182-724

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