Fate of hotel used by swingers club still undecided by judge

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The city of Vandalia has sued the Knights Inn hotel for being a public nuisance.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A judge is still considering the public nuisance case against a hotel being sued by the City of Vandalia, and meanwhile a defense attorney in the case filed a motion to get more time to respond to the initial lawsuit.

David Pearce, the attorney for the Knights Inn hotel in Vandalia, filed a procedural motion on Tuesday asking the judge to give the defense team through Sept. 22 to answer the lawsuit. In the motion, Pearce says the defense team was busy preparing for the preliminary hearing and did not have significant time to file the formal response to the lawsuit.

The motion was unopposed and the defense will file a response to the city’s lawsuit by that date. This filing does not impact the judge’s decision.

On Aug. 4, Vandalia filed a lawsuit asking a judge to close the Knights Inn because of a large number of nuisance calls the city gets to the hotel. Judge Gregory Singer heard the case on Aug. 17.

The Knights Inn in Vandalia

Hery Patel, who manages the Knights Inn, testified he raised rates after the city filed the complaint in an effort to change the clientele. Patel also testified since his family bought the hotel in 2017, they have put about $200,000 into remodeling or improving the rooms.

On Aug. 14, attorneys for the Knights Inn filed a memorandum in opposition to Vandalia’s motion to close the hotel, saying the city did not provide formal written or verbal notice that the city considered the hotel a nuisance.

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During the preliminary hearing, the defense attorneys showed the hotel instituted a “do not rent” list, for “unruly” guests.

Vandalia Interim City Manager and Police Chief Kurt Althouse said the police department has responded to the hotel more than 250 times from the first of the year through July 27. The call log from that time period, obtained by the Dayton Daily News, shows calls for disorderly conduct, drug overdoses, auto theft, domestic incidents and other crime.

Patel did not deny there were a lot of calls for service to his hotel and said he has made some calls himself.

The police department often sends two officers when it responds to the Knights Inn because there is a potential for violence, making the property a drain on police resources, Althouse said.

A Vandalia police officer testified he saw “swingers club” parties at the Knights Inn.

Patel said during testimony there is a swingers group that has used the hotel’s conference room and rented rooms on the second floor of the hotel. Patel maintained that the group we consenting adults and they were not doing anything illegal. He said he has even let the swingers group use a storage unit on the property.

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