LIVE UPDATES: Double D Ranch injunction hearing - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

LIVE UPDATES: Restraining order extended against Double D Ranch

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Judge Kennedy started the Thursday morning injunction hearing off by saying, "This case is about the alleged breach of a commercial real estate lease."

"This case is not about whether a DD restaurant can operate in Tyler or is appropriate.. It might be a more interesting question but is not the question before the court today," she continued.

In their opening statement, TRU (Toys R Us) says El Chico did not gain consent to do things outlined in temporary restraining order. Toys R Us objects, and is holding consent because a number of Toys R Us customers have said they object and have threatened to stop doing business with Toys R Us. TRU asked that the judge grant the temporary injunction that prohibits use of DD Ranch name and asks that the signage be changed.

Double D opened by saying the property in question was already commercially zoned. They also claim that the plaintiff in this case is not Toys R Us, but TRU 2005 RE I, LLC, a sophisticated real estate leaser. They also stated that Toys R Us has gone to great lengths to try to blur the lines between themselves and TRU, and believe it would be unreasonable for TRU to hold consent.

DD stated that verbal consent was given to renovate the property. 30 days later, DD was served with a cease and desist order from the plaintiff.

DD claims that over $600,000 has been spent into renovations, and if, at the end of the day, the injunction is put in place, over 100 employees and hundreds of thousands of dollars would be lost.

"We don't want this to turn into 'Is this going to hurt Toys R Us?' TRU is the real plaintiff here."

For the past 40 or so minutes TRU witness 1 has been on the stand. Double D representation has taken over the witness multiple times attempting to show that the witness has a lack of foundation and it testifying on hear say.

Witness 1, Evelyn Sullivan, and employee of Toys R Us says they never gave consent to change the name of the restaurant and has not given consent to make exterior changes to the building. Lease Excerpt 35.01 says, Landlord reserves the right to have all non-approved signs, letters and symbols removed.

DD Ranch now questioning Ms. Sullivan, asks if she worked for TRU Inc.. She said yes.

DD Ranch rep asks, "So you are not a corporate representative for the company that filed suit in this case (TRU 2005 REI)?" Witness continually did not understand the question and kept saying she worked for Toys R Us.

Sullivan answered she had not been to the DD Ranch location herself to see the signs. She has seen photos from third parties. DD ranch representation says a witness may not testify if they have no personal knowledge of the situation and she is testifying on things other people have told her. DD ranch representation asked her statements to be stricken from the record. Objection overruled by Judge Kennedy.

"DD is not a co-tenant we would seek. This is not a type of restaurant we would enter a lease directly with. They do not even have a Children's menu," says Sullivan. 

Objection; DD says--witness has lack of foundation and it testifying on hearsay and hearsay within hearsay.

At this time the court has recessed for lunch. The hearing will resume at 1:30 pm.

Court is underway again at 1:30 pm.

Sullivan is back on the stand talking about the lack of symbiotic relationships between TRU customers and DD customers,  We want the synergy and symbiotic factor. We want to coexist and compliment each others uses. We do not believe that our shopper mom is the type of patron who will frequent a DD establishment on a regular basis."

Keep following for updates in this hearing.

The court has extended the temporary restraining order for two weeks.

Judge Kennedy said she'd like to give both parties more time to obtain and study the documents they need to be fully prepared for this case.

The bond has been increased to $200,000.  Double D Ranch would be responsible for that bond if they violate the Temporary Resraing order.

Another hearing is anticipated in the next two weeks.


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