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Judge issues injunction in Resurrection school lease dispute

LOVELAND — Let the games go on. For now.

Larimer County District Court Judge Laurie Dean has issued a preliminary injunction that will prohibit Resurrection Fellowship — the landlord of Resurrection Christian School — from charging additional fees or imposing additional conditions on use of athletic fields at the Christian school in east Loveland.

Resurrection Christian School sought court protection in its dispute with the church over the terms of its lease. It filed a lawsuit July 28, contending that the church was trying to impose new conditions on its use of athletic fields that the school, which is a separate legal entity from the church, had paid to help build and operate. It also sought an injunction to permit it to continue to use parking lots and space within the church that had been used as a preschool.

Judge Dean granted part of the request, but not all. 

“The request for preliminary injunctive relief was denied as to the plaintiff’s motion regarding parking spaces and the preschool,” she wrote in her order dated Aug. 18. The church had said in its response to the lawsuit that it would not restrict use of 432 parking spaces nor limit the school’s use of the preschool space.

But as for the athletic fields, “injunctive relief is granted …The defendant(s) … are prohibited from charging a fee to plaintiff or requiring the plaintiff to sign the facility use agreement in order for the plaintiff to use the athletic fields on the defendant’s property,” she said.

The school still must pay its pro rata share payments, as it has in the past. The order is in effect until a final determination is made, which, barring a settlement, could be June next year, when the court set aside as much as five days for a trial.

The church contended in its response to the lawsuit that the school was attempting “a land grab” and claiming “rights to land which it in fact has no right to access” under its lease — a 99-year agreement at $1 per year.

Source: BizWest