Major League Grill

A local judge ordered a Beaumont restaurant and its landlord into mediation on Monday, setting a May 31 trial date if the two parties refuse to resolve their legal dispute.

In February, the Major League Franchise Group, which owns the Major League Grill, sued its landlord, Azam Beaumont Enterprises, claiming Azam refuses to keep its leased property up to state codes.

Court records show that on March 17, 2009, the franchise group leased property from Azam at 4430 Dowlen Road for the Major League Grill.

Since that time, Azam has allegedly refused to maintain the premises, costing Major League more than $50,000 in costs to repair a leaky roof and the building's air conditioning.

On March 11, Azam filed a plea to the jurisdiction, arguing that Major League is past due on its rent and owes $24,000, entitling the company to take possession of the premises.

In its plea, Azam asked Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, to find that a lower justice court, which is already presiding over a similar suit, has jurisdiction and also to dissolve a temporary injunction issued by him on Feb. 17 - the date Major League's petition was filed.

Judge Wortham told the Southeast Texas Record that he ordered the companies to mediate the matter, ruling that Major League pay some money to Azam for rent and that also some money be paid into a court registry.

Major League was refusing to pay rent because of the money it spent repairing Azam's building.

If the parties refuse to resolve their disagreement, a trial will be held on May 31, Judge Wortham said.

In its suit, Major League alleges Azam breached its contract and is suing the company for actual damages to remedy the property, plus all court costs.

Beaumont attorney Ryan Gertz represents the company.

Azam is represented in part by Beaumont attorney Donald Sample.

Case No. A189-385

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