City Seeks Out of Canceled RV Park Lease Suit
The city of Richmond, Ky., has filed a motion seeking to dismiss a $12 million suit filed against it by Lakeview RV Park LLC over a disputed lease to Camp Catalpa.
The 22-page motion, filed Nov. 19 in Madison Circuit Court, asks Judge Jean C. Logue to dismiss the suit against the city, commissioners Bill Strong, Mike Brewer and Robert Blythe and former Commissioner Kay Cosby Jones, according to the Richmond Register.
Cosby and the commissioners are being sued both in their official capacity and as individuals for their actions in granting and then rescinding a lease between the city and Lakeview, which is principally owned by Allen D. Grant Jr., for the Camp Catalpa property.
The lease was authorized Feb. 26, 2008, but commissioners voted one month later in the face of public opposition to cancel the lease, despite there being no clause in the lease which permitted the city to rescind the agreement.
The lawsuit alleges the commissioners met illegally before the March 25, 2008, vote to discuss rescinding the lease.
The city’s dismissal motion argues that claims against the commissioners should be dismissed under the doctrine of absolute immunity because “all actions undertaken to control and manage the city’s affairs are clearly statutorily authorized and legislative in nature.”
The motion also argues that the commissioners are protected from the suit by the legal doctrines of qualified immunity and official qualified immunity, which would bar a suit from being filed based on the commission’s actions.
The motion cites a state law which it argues protects the city as a whole from being sued for “discretionary acts,” or decisions made based on the judgment and opinion of officials.
As an alternative to a complete dismissal, the motion argues that at most, the suit should be allowed to continue only for breach of contract between Lakeview and the city, and be limited to contractual damages.
Lakeview initially had filed a suit in U.S. District Court in Lexington claiming the city’s actions had violated due process and constituted a breach of contract and tortious interference, but that suit was dismissed in September because of a clause in the lease which restricts legal actions regarding the lease to Madison County courts.
The suit filed in Madison Circuit Court also contains the due process and tortious interference claims, and seeks compensatory and punitive damages as well as legal fees and court costs.
The motion is scheduled to be heard Thursday, Dec. 10 at 9 a.m.