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Rivertown's Tangerine Nightclub Loses Court Appeal

Owner Darnell Small may continue to stay open if he appeals the decision.

Brenna Houck
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Rivertown's Tangerine has lost its appeal, nightclub owner Darnell Small's attorney Lawrence Walker tells Eater.

Small, who is facing eviction, went to court last Wednesday for a final review of the case. For now, Small may continue to stay open if he appeals the decision.

Judge Daniel P. Ryan reviewed the case against Darnell Small by landlord Rivertown Holdings (owned by Atwater Brewing). Rivertown alleges that Small damaged his rental property and failed to pay rent.

Judge Ryan "made the best of it that he could under the circumstances," says Walker who notes that this was an "interesting motion." While Ryan oversaw the review of Small's case, Judge Patricia Fresard was the primary judge throughout case due to an improper filing by Rivertown Holdings' attorney. Judge Fresard made most of the decisions regarding Small's business, despite the fact that she was not a business court judge. "When it was discovered that this judge did not really have the expertise to handle these cases was, unfortunately, after she had already made all of these erroneous rulings," Walker says.

Still, the attorney believes Small will have a strong case if he decides to file an appeal. "He has very strong legal issues as, quite frankly, Judge Ryan alluded to yesterday," says Walker, noting that Ryan said in court "there is enough meat on these bones to have before the court of appeals."


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