Marietta property owner files lawsuit against city

Sierra Rains
The Red River Cloud Nine Inc. building located at 119 W. Main St. in Marietta. The City of Marietta put up barriers around the area on Nov. 5 after citizens reportedly noticed debris falling off the building.

The owner of an old brick building in downtown Marietta has filed a lawsuit against the city in an effort to stop the city from demolishing what he claims is a ‘historically significant’ property. 

The Marietta City Council voted on Aug. 11 to declare the property, located at 119 W. Main St., a public nuisance and ordered the building to be demolished and removed, according to court records from the Oklahoma Eastern District Court. 

Marietta City Council Member KorDale Lornes said the city council repeatedly urged the property owner, Weldon Luke Pollard, to make necessary repairs to get the building to a safe and stable condition. 

“Not wanting to see the building collapse on itself, we voted for the building to be demolished for the safety of our community and were met with litigation,” Lornes said. 

Pollard reportedly filed an appeal with the District Court of Love County within 30 days of the ruling of the city council. On Sept. 30, Pollard filed a civil lawsuit against the city requesting that the Oklahoma Eastern District Court issue an order restraining the city from demolishing the building. 

In the lawsuit, Pollard’s legal team argues that the property, known as Red River Cloud Nine, Inc., is a historically significant property that is believed to be one of the oldest brick buildings in the State of Oklahoma. 

Court records further allege that repairs have been actively being made to the structure and that “significant progress” has been made to ensure that the building is structurally sound. 

Pollard’s attorneys claim that the the process has taken considerably longer than anticipated due to issues related to the age of the building and delays caused by COVID-19. 

Upon completion of the efforts, Pollard claims that the building will be an “attractive, safe and habitable building in downtown Marietta.” However, city officials remain concerned by the current state of the building. 

Lornes said the city put up barricades around the property on Thursday after citizens expressed concerns that there were pieces of the building falling off. “The situation we are currently in is exactly what we were wanting to avoid,” he said. 

In the lawsuit, Pollard’s legal team argues that the removal of the building will adversely affect his legal and equitable rights, resulting in damages and “irreparable harm” to the property. 

The lawsuit goes further to allege that the procedure and process used by the City of Marietta violates its own code, the Oklahoma Constitution, the U.S. Constitution and fundamental principles of fairness and due process. 

Pollard’s legal team has requested that the court issue a temporary order prohibiting the building from being demolished until the court can conduct a hearing to determine whether an injunction should be issued. 

An amended complaint with the above information was filed in court on Oct. 30 and no further action has been taken by Saturday, according to the court docket. This is a developing story. More information will be provided as it becomes available.