This morning at Boney Courthouse, Anchorage District Court Judge Stephanie Rhoades granted a motion filed yesterday by Charlene Egbe (also known as Charlo Greene), for a continuation in the eviction case filed against her on December 29 (Case No. 3AN-14-11002CI). This is to give Egbe additional time to retain counsel.
In the eviction case, formally called a Forcible Entry/Detain or FED case, Egbe’s landlords Ethann and Donald Oldham seek a court order to evict “defendant and all other occupants from the premises” in the upstairs (street level) of 225 E. 5th Avenue — formerly the Kodiak Cafe and now the premises of Egbe’s Alaska Cannabis Club.
But the continuance granted by Judge Rhoades is only until this Friday, January 9 at 9:00 AM, instead of the “only twenty-one (21) days” sought by Egbe in her motion. Rhoades made clear her reasoning: while she intended to see that Egbe was afforded her due process right to competent counsel, there is also a matter of timeliness and the rights of the landlords in the eviction proceeding. In particular, the judge considered the evidence presented by the Oldhams in their opposition to the continuance (also filed yesterday) of a large alcohol-involved party to be held in Egbe’s premises on the evening of January 9. In the words of the Oldhams’ “Opposition to Expedited Consideration”:
[T]he tenant Egbe, had her lease terminated for violation of the liquor laws by serving liquor at her business and for failing to provide insurance. She has a party planned for January 9, 2015 where a “VIP lounge” with liquor will be included. Continuance of the proceedings only exposes plaintiffs to liability, especially after the leases were terminated by 10 day notices as referenced in the complaint.
The Oldhams’ motion included screenshots of the Facebook event page in which the January 9 party was being promoted. We also prepared our own screenshots from the Facebook event page, available in our public Dropbox. Our screenshots were taken yesterday morning when the event page was still publicly viewable; later yesterday the event page was hidden (possibly after Egbe saw the screenshots included with the Oldhams’ opposition motion.)
Judge Rhoades was firm that Egbe would be afforded no opportunity to continue the case beyond the Friday morning hearing, and that evidence will be heard and a decision on whether to evict will be made at that hearing. She also informed the parties in the case that the hearing will not be conducted by her, but by the judge actually in charge of this case, Judge Pamela Scott Washington, to whom the files in this case will be transferred.
Rhoades also returned to Egbe and removed from the official court file a motion that Egbe had made later on yesterday entitled “Verified Answer to the Complaint or Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction.”
Rhoades gave as her reasoning that the motion had been filed by Egbe prior to her having retained counsel and advised Egbe to have any counsel she retains to review the motion prior to any decision about whether to refile it at Anchorage District Court. In the motion, Egbe had sought to dismiss the eviction case altogether, claimed an “ownership interest” in the property, repeated assertions about Ethann Oldham’s supposed “break-ins” to the property, and claimed that she had never conducted, approved, or advertised “social club” activities at 225 E. 5th — an assertion contradicted by the numerous screenshots from past and planned events, the Alaska Cannabis Club website, Instagram, and Facebook pages and profiles associated with Egbe, her associates, and the Alaska Cannabis Club.
All the filings mentioned in this story are available in the eviction case folder in our public Dropbox.
I will also be attending the Friday hearing; expect further updates in the case at that time. In the meantime, see our previous stories on the dispute from January 6 and December 22 and visit our public Dropbox (http://bit.ly/akcannabis) for full documentation of all these stories.