City, bar continue legal battle
Both sides file briefs over nuisance complaint
YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown Law Department believes it proved “by clear and convincing evidence” that the All City Sports Bar at 1692-1698 Mahoning Ave. on the West Side “is a nuisance.”
The law department’s post-hearing brief also states that the nuisance should be abated through a state law that allows the business to be shut down for a year.
The case is being heard by Magistrate Tim Welsh of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. The bar is owned by Isaiah Poindexter and Brandon Brown. A hearing was held earlier to listen to testimony regarding the actions taken by the Youngstown Police Department last summer based on complaints.
The filing states that the city wants the magistrate to order the Youngstown Police Department to remove all personal property and contents from the bar that have been used in conducting the nuisance.
The city also asks that the magistrate direct the Youngstown Police Department to sell all such property and contents.
The building has been boarded up since August, when the magistrate approved a temporary restraining order, but the city seeks a further order padlocking it “and otherwise physically closed against its use for any purpose for a period of one year from the date of the hearing and final disposition.”
Meanwhile, attorney Walter Madison, who represents the owners of the property, filed his own brief, noting that the city filed its nuisance action alleging incidents of parking violations, coronavirus concerns and criminal acts being committed by others.
Madison notes that alleged illegal acts were “committed by others outside of (the bar owners’) control and more importantly, outside the order of their establishment.”
Madison stated that Youngstown police officer Chris Staley testified that he had no knowledge of large crowds, any fights, any loud music or any felonious assaults “coming from or near the (bar).”
The officer “conceded that the only problem he had knowledge of was parking on the prohibited section of North Lakeview Avenue.” A person was cited there “before he ever got into the (bar’s) establishment,” the filing stated.
The filing addressed weapons charges filed against individuals near the business, saying, “All weapons violators would have been violating the law at all times prior to arrival at the (bar). Each violator was prohibited from possessing a firearm. If they had attended Mass that day, then too would have any weapons violations charge been ripe. It would be preposterous to believe the church would be in order to encourage any weapons violation.”
In the end, the filing states, the city’s case against All City Sports bar “is reduced to unwarranted parking violations and marijuana found in an area separately leased and detached from (the bar’s) liquor establishment.”
The magistrate has not yet ruled on the matter.