Settlement Reached For Sanctions Against Owner Of Barnstormers
July 24, 2018
A lawsuit spanning years between Green Oak Township and the owner of the shuttered Barnstormers complex has finally been settled.
The property on M-36 near US-23 has been in flux since 2012, when the entertainment complex was shut down following years of code violations. Rob Cortis still owns the shuttered facility, which has been the subject of lengthy litigation with the township. Multiple safety and code violations led to occupancy being reduced and portions of the building were ordered closed until the conditions deemed dangerous could be rectified.
The township sought sanctions against Cortis and his attorney Roger Myers for what it maintained were frivolous filings that caused lengthy legal delays and additional costs. RJMC Corporation, on behalf of Cortis, sued the township in 2011 alleging the fire department’s actions limiting occupancy were unwarranted and caused him to lose business. The suit also challenged the sanctions imposed by the township. The Michigan Court of Appeals eventually ordered mediation and a facilitated settlement was reached in the case in June.
Green Oak Township Supervisor Mark St. Charles tells WHMI the court upheld the finding that the Barnstormers is a dangerous building and that the facility must remain closed until such time as all the dangerous portions have been demolished and the building is renovated in conformance with all applicable codes. He says the court affirmed the award of the township’s costs related to the litigation in the amount of $27,078. St. Charles says the parties also reached a settlement on court-awarded sanctions against Barnstormers for filing a frivolous lawsuit in the amount of $85,000. The monetary awards will remain in the form of a lien against the property until paid. (JM)