A Beaumont attorney is seeking to withdraw as counsel for the defense in a contract dispute case.

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

On Feb. 10 Azam's attorney, Beaumont lawyer Donald Sample, filed a motion to withdraw, stating that due to significant multiple illnesses of family members he is hindered in the pursuit of his client's defense, the motion states.

A notice was filed Feb. 13 slating the matter for a March 19 hearing.

A trial is also slated to be held sometime in April, court papers say.

Sample is asking the court to modify its scheduling orders to allow Azam's new defense to be familiar with the issues of the case, the motion states.

Earlier this year, Major League Grill filed a motion for declaratory judgment, seeking to validate an option-to-purchase clause in its contract with Azam.

However, Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, denied the request on July 7, finding the clause "is not sufficient to grant the plaintiff the right to exercise an option to purchase at any time during the lease," the court's order states.

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.

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

If the parties refuse to resolve their disagreement, a trial is slated to be held sometime in April, court papers say.

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.

Case No. A189-385

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