On Friday, October 9, Judge Robin Giarrusso denied the owners of the business at 711 Bourbon (aka Bourbon Lights) their request for a preliminary injunction.
In plain English, we won!
The plaintiffs had sought a court action that would have allowed them to continue operating, despite the fact that permits were not obtained for virtually any of the work on the premises; despite the flouting of four stop work orders issued by the city; despite the fact that no structural permits or inspections have ever been conducted; and despite many other violations of building, preservation, and life safety codes.
The bar owners had argued that any violations were the responsibility of the building owners, and that they as tenants shouldn't be punished because a third party didn't follow the rules. But the city attorneys rightfully pointed out that the bar owners had both directed and benefited from the work, and had "unclean hands" and committed "bad acts." They also countered the plaintiff's claims that the violations were "technicalities."
Judge Giarrusso's ruling means that the bar operators cannot legally open the establishment.
We are grateful to our attorney, Alan Alario of Smith Stag, and to city attorneys Thomas Robichaux, Nolan Lambert, and Dawn Segura, who prepared the brief and successfully argued the case today.
This is a huge victory for the French Quarter, but for other neighborhoods as well. When the importance of process is upheld, and everyone is compelled to follow the same rules, then all neighborhoods win!
Thank you, FQC members and friends, for your tremendous outpouring of support and justified outrage in this case.