Three days after city council members closed the Palestine Athletic Complex, a local judge ruled the city failed to grant the tenants due process and ordered it reopened.
A writ granted Thursday to Carey McKinney, president of the Anderson County Football League, has unlocked the gates to the complex – at least for now.
Judge James Westley granted McKinney the writ of re-entry, including all buildings, gates, fields, and parking lots in the complex, after McKinney argued he was evicted without due process.
McKinney and the ACFL entered into a lease agreement Monday, and paid the city more than $900 for use of the facility. That was one day before city council voted to close it to the public, because the complex violated the federal American Disability Act. Resident Michael Ivy, who uses a wheelchair, sued the city in June.
“It's unfortunate we had to go to court like this,” McKinney told the Herald-Press Thursday. “If people would just take the time to sit down and talk things out, a lot can be accomplished.”
The city has eight days to request a hearing in writing, after which the case would be heard within one week.
Failure to request a hearing could result in a judgment against the city.
A copy of the writ was also served to City Manager Leslie Cloer, who did not immediately return phone calls from the Herald-Press.