No new trial for locals who sued to keep vehicles parked on lawn

David Yates Jun. 23, 2011, 5:19am

A Beaumont judge on Wednesday denied a new trial to a Nederland couple who sued the city to keep vehicles parked in their yard.

As previously reported, John and Lanell Stuchlik filed suit against the city of Nederland on Jan. 12 in Jefferson County District Court, hoping to circumvent a code prohibiting the couple from storing vehicles on their property.

On April 20, Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, granted the city's plea to the jurisdiction, dismissing the governmental entity without prejudice, court records show.

A month later, on May 20 the couple filed a motion for new trial, arguing that a court of equity has the right to hear the case since the city's ordinance violates their constitutional rights.

Judge Floyd verbally denied the motion June 22.

The Stuchliks keep vehicles parked on the property at 804 N. 33rd St. in Nederland, according to their petition.

On Sept. 17, a city building official notified the couple that the parked vehicles violated section 302.8 of the 2009 Property Maintenance Code, which prohibits residents from storing unserviceable vehicles on their property or in the streets, court records show.

Court records show The Stuchliks objected and brought the issue up before a board of appeals. On Dec. 13, the city informed the couple that the board ruled in its favor and that it intended to enforce the code.

Beaumont attorney Bruce Smith represents the couple.

The city is represented by Nederland attorney Jesse Branick.

Case No. E189-157

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