Local News

AP, Deleon named in building owners' lawsuit

AVON PARK - A Miami lawyer, representing the owners of a downtown building, has filed court summons to notify City Manager Julian Deleon and City Clerk Cheryl Tietjen that a lawsuit has been filed against them. Attorney John De Leon also filed a third summons on July 1 in the 10th Judicial Circuit in Highlands County to inform the City of Avon Park that it is a defendant in the lawsuit. De Leon is representing Fernando and Yudith Fernandez who, for more than a year, have attempted to open a boarding home at 1 West Main St. In a May 2 letter to the city, their lawyer claimed Avon Park violated their civil rights on March 17, 2012.
"We have a copy of all the evidence, including taped City of Avon Park hearing where city officials used shocking and unconscionable language relating to residents of this community of Latino/Hispanic background," he said in his letter to the city. In a court complaint filed May 13, the lawyer De Leon outlined the Fernandezes' efforts and expenditures to open a boarding home in their building. Their corporation, Fern & Fern, seeks a court injunction to order the city to issue the licenses, permits and other documents required to allow them to open and operate their business, according to the complaint. De Leon originally informed the city that he was seeking mediation or a settlement prior to filing a lawsuit. He requested an answer from the city by May 29. Julian Deleon said Friday that he had not been served with a summons. A mediation session on the matter is scheduled Aug. 2 in Sebring, he said. The summons state that Deleon, Tietjen and the City of Avon Park have 20 days after the summons is served to respond in writing to the complaint. mvalero@highlandstoday.com 863-386-5826