Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Kohan Surrenders in Battle of Briarwood 1

 All but the shouting is over in the Battle of Briarwood 1 as building owner Mike Kohan agreed to bring the property up to code.   

Kohan owns the building through his company, Briarwood Holding Realty, LLC.  To say the building fell into a state of disrepair is an understatement.  Fallen limbs blocked the parking lot, numerous windows were busted out, the underground parking garage was flooded, mold was present, and the residency challenged took over the place as they destroyed the property.   

Jackson Code Enforcement officers cited Kohan for the violations.  Judge Reynolds held a trial in January but the defendant did not appear in court.  The Court found him guilty and sentenced Kohan to serve six months in jail if he did not demolish the building or bring it in compliance with the municipal code.   Kohan's lawyer, John Martin, filed an emergency motion to vacate the judgement and appealed the conviction to Hinds County Court, arguing his client was never properly served. However, Kohan did not pay the $1 million appeal bond set by Judge Reynolds.  Judge Reynolds denied the motion and ruled the appeal was invalid since the defendant did not pay the appeal bond.  The Court issued an arrest warrant for Kohan since he did not comply with the Court order regarding the building.  

Kohan appealed to Chancery Court even though the Court has no jurisdiction over criminal cases.  Chancellor Tamertrice Hodges issued a temporary restraining order against the city.  

Judge Reynolds ignored the Chancellor, holding she had no jurisdiction over the case, and held a status conference yesterday.  Attorneys Sterling Kidd (Baker Donelson) and John Martin represented the non-traveling Kohan. 

Kohan consented to the jurisdiction of the Jackson Municipal Court and agreed to dismiss the Chancery Court appeal with prejudice.  They also agreed to withdraw their "defective" County Court appeal. Kohan had filed a notice of appeal but did not submit a $1 million appearance bond. 

The defendant agreed to bring the building up to safety code.  Kohan will work with the city and obtain the necessary permit.  Judge Reynolds said he will reinstate the six-month jail sentence and extradition order he issued on March 24.  

A licensed contractor accompanied the attorneys in Court.  A Kohan gopher from Tulsa appeared as well. The attorneys apologized for the current state of the building.  The consent order is posted below. 

Judge Reynolds apparently got Kohan's attention last week.  Kohan argued he could not be held liable for the building's condition since his company owned the property.  However, Judge Reynolds made short work of his claim: 

The Defendant has also argued that, because the building is held by his LLC, not Defendant personally, he cannot be criminally charged or convicted for criminal violations of the City’s environmental codes. But Defendant, the LLC’s Manager, is also its sole member. As the sole, managing member, Defendant is the only individual with authority to ensure the LLC abides, or does not abide, the City of Jackson’s environmental codes. A single-member LLC’s sole member cannot use the LLC to shield that member from criminal prosecution for failure to abide by environmental codes, allowing dangerous conditions to endanger the safety of the citizens of Jackson.

Judge Reynolds ruled March 24 Kohan did not demolish the building as the Court required nor did he surrender his personage to JPD.  The Court asked the City Attorney to initiate extradition proceedings against the New York defendant.  The order must have gotten the defendant's attention because his attorneys were very agreeable in Court. 



Anonymous said...

Almost zero chance all that can be done in a week.

Anonymous said...

I'd think it would be less expensive to tear it down.

Anonymous said...

So, now what. Following the patterns set in this case we will in limbo for the next year. Nature, time and gravity will do what this person won't do.

My friend is asking you lawyer types, both real and wanna be, if the building does succumb to gravity and kills one of the afore mentioned residency challenged, will/could he be held responsible. Apparently there is no way to stop entry.

Anonymous said...

What's the timeline for bringing it up to code?

Anonymous said...

I am 80 years old and in doubt that I will live to see that building rehabilitated to an inhabitable condition.....

Anonymous said...

I say the city has some fault in allowing lawlessness to take place at the building perpetrated by random personages of it's citizenry thus contributing to its delapitude.

Anonymous said...

This will reduce to more half of a half of a half over extended time after time after time extension after extension after extension.

Bad example for the other negligent absentee property owners of Jackson's blight.

Anonymous said...

One slumlord down; 83,562 to go.

Anonymous said...

History tells us that every time a promise has been made in court, by a defendant or defendant's counsel, that promise has been duly and timely honored.

So, given that...you people need to move on and trust the system.

Crew-Satrix said...

Kingfish: Please delete all but the top seven (7) threads. The other 30 are outdated and get zero traffic. In other words, they serve no (known) purpose. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I think I have read where the owner was behind in taxes. Why wouldn't he just not pay taxes and let the property be sold for taxes.

Anonymous said...

Pretty high weeds for a city judge to stumble into concerning LLC liability, criminality, etc.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:23 - Prolly because if he did he could not continue to take a loss on it ever year from now to eternity. Reckon?

Anonymous said...

Well looks like MDOT is going to have to open the 55 Underpass suites back up!

Anonymous said...

Guessing this is an attempt to buy time. Maybe do a strawman sell to a third party who cannot be found. It will not be brought to code.

Anonymous said...

Noticed the O hotel is open for business as the homeless are crowed all around it at high noon. Can only imagine what goes on at night. Noticed a handsome couple coming out of a room as the moved the plywood door. All is well with Chuck’s new world order. There was a flashing neon open sign flashing by the office door. Thought Chuck had the same order against it as Briarwood?

Anonymous said...

They could release a tank of chlorine gas in the building. That would kill the fungus and chase out the homeless. Then he could donate the building to the Church of scientology and no one in their right mind would go inside it ever again.

Honestly it is hard to believe they ever let that building go so bad.

Anonymous said...

The mechanical components of the building was under water for months. 18 months prior to the new owner the air compressor, Chiller, six fans and speed drives were replaced. What a waste. Even if the building is up to code it still needs multiple of millions to get the electrical and HVAC in operation.

Anonymous said...

Just passed there about 15 minutes ago. The perimeter fence has been repaired, or at least worked on. There are, what appear to be, work trucks
in the parking lot. Something is going on. . .

Anonymous said...

What about adding in a carousel and a ferris wheel like they planned to do at Seiferth Sanders Center (say THAT 3 times fast!)

Maybe a go kart track, too?

Anonymous said...

He's screwed. Not because I don't believe that he'll follow through with bringing the property up to code (because I don't) but because even if he has full intent to do so, those jack asses with the county permit office are either too stupid, drunk or mentally deficient to issue the permit without a greasy palm with significant cheddar to even bother. When I house caught fire due to an electrical issue I could only find one contractor that could get the permit pulled. No one else in the state would touch the job because they refuse to try to pull a permit in this sorry county.

Anonymous said...

Code? What code?
The codes are woefully inadequate and an absentee owner/slum lord dream!
We can't even enforce stricker covenants in Jackson!
Thanks dumb legislators who don't want Billy
Bob to have to clean up his beer joint!

Anonymous said...

“Promises made, promises broken” has been Kohan’s mantra since he has been involved with this property. It’s his history and the City and the Courts are fools if they think they have gotten to him. He was able to avoid paying Entergy for a year with his lies and promises before they finally pulled the plug. Wake up!

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