Couple seeks TRO to stop demolition

Kelly Holleran Jan. 4, 2010, 3:44am

480 Magazine St. in Beaumont

A Beaumont couple claims the city of Beaumont should not be allowed to tear down a historic building at 480 Magazine St. because they have been making repairs to the property.

John and Kala Leggett filed an application for a temporary restraining order, a temporary injunction and a permanent injunction against the city.

The Leggetts claim they purchased the Magazine Street property on Oc. 10, 2008, with the intention to clean it up.

They began to remove trash and debris from the home located at the property, then obtained a city compliance repair permit that expired May 12, according to the complaint.

"From Feb. 11, 2009 to May 12, 2009, the Plaintiffs completed many repairs to the home, including repaired porch support, re-decked and covered with felt, repaired the back alley with 1-by-4 inch wood laths, finished tear-off of back alley roof and re-decking covered with felt, worked on north side of roof, removed five layers of roofing and re-deck north side of roof and cover with felt and removed roof on west side of roof re-decked and covered with felt," the suit states.

The Leggetts obtained a second permit which expired Sept. 12 and completed numerous repairs to the structure, but received a letter in November that informed them the city had scheduled the building for demolition, the complaint says.

The Leggetts claim the court should prevent the city from demolishing the home.

"This imminent harm will cause plaintiffs irreparable injury in that plaintiffs and other citizens of the city of Beaumont will be forced to bear witness to the loss of another historic home that is structurally sound to be razed," the suit states.

"There is no adequate remedy at law which will give plaintiffs complete, final and equal relief because demolition contractors are destroying the very res of this controversy; and allowing the defendants to proceed will have a chilling effect on plaintiffs' exercise of their constitutional freedoms."

The Leggetts seek a temporary restraining order and a temporary injunction preventing the city from demolishing the building and a bond on the restraining order.

They also want the court to permanently enjoin the city from demolishing the building after a trial and seek nominal, punitive and exemplary damages, plus other relief the court deems just.

H. Tracy Richardson III of Strong, Pipkin, Bissell and Ledyard in Beaumont will be representing them.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: B185-505.

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