Oral Arguments to be Held in Homeless Task Force Appeal
(APN) ATLANTA — The Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless and the apparent co-conspirators who set out to sabotage their operation will be in front of the Supreme Court of Georgia on Tuesday, June 02, 2015, to argue their cases.
The main issue is whether Fulton County Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall erroneously issued an order allowing Premium Funding Solutions to pursue an eviction proceeding against the homeless shelter.
Premium Funding Solutions is the current owner of the title to the building on Peachtree and Pine in downtown Atlanta, where the Task Force houses several hundred homeless men, and provides additional services for homeless women and children.
However, the Task Force has quiet title, wrongful foreclosure, and tort claims against several parties, including PFS, that are still pending in Superior Court; thus, they are arguing that it would be unjust and cause irreparable harm to the shelter and the homeless men, women, and children it serves, if they were evicted before the question of who really owns the building is determined.
As previously reported by Atlanta Progressive News, there is extensive evidence that several parties–including the City of Atlanta, Central Atlanta Progress, Manny Fialkow, Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, and Benevolent Community Investing Co., LLC. (BCI)–conspired to sever relationships between the Task Force and its funders, and to convince noteholders on the Task Force’s building to sell the defaulted notes to BCI.
“If the trial court entertains a limited dispossessory proceeding in advance of the trial on the Task Force’s claims, it impermissibly alters the status quo before a full trial on the merits, violates its obligation to do complete justice, creates the possibility that the parties will have duplicate proceedings on the same questions of title and possession, and causes irreparable injury to the Task Force and the people it serves,” the Task Force argues in its Appellate Brief, a copy of which has been obtained by Atlanta Progressive News.
Claims against the City of Atlanta were dismissed in a separate lawsuit, due to sovereign immunity.
In addition, the parties are disputing every aspect of Schwall’s rulings on summary judgment.
The Task Force is disputing Schwall’s granting of summary judgment against the Task Force’s RICO, or racketeering, claim, which essentially dismissed the claim.
Meanwhile, the other parties are disputing Schwall’s granting of summary judgment in favor of the Task Force, wherein Schwall ruled that the Task Force could, as a matter of law, have valid legal claims for tortious interference with private business relationships, quiet title, and wrongful foreclosure.
With all the cross appeals, there are actually nine cases listed on the Supreme Court of Georgia, although the primary case is the first one filed, S15A1021.
“Multiple briefs have been filed by various organizations in this litigation, and many issues are in dispute, including whether the state Supreme Court even has the authority under the Georgia Constitution to review these appeals,” according case summary provided by Jane Hansen, public information officer for the Court.
“Attorneys for the Task Force argue the trial court erred in allowing Premium Funding to pursue a separate dispossessory action, as the questions of possession and title were already being litigated in the ‘Main Actions,’” the summary states.
However, according to the court’s summary, Premium Funding Solutions disagrees with the Task Force’s arguments because the Task Force had defaulted on the notes before the alleged conspiracy took effect.
“The Task Force’s entire legal edifice in this case is constructed of fantastical allegations of a vast conspiracy by several unrelated public and private entities to adversely affect the Task Force’s funding and ultimately force it out of the subject property,” PFS argues in its brief, according to the summary.
“The problem with this strategy is that the undisputed factual record shows that the Task Force defaulted on its promissory notes relating to the subject property on numerous occasions long before any of the alleged conspirators – including Premium Funding Solutions – and its predecessor in interest (Ichthus) – hatched their supposed plan to oust the Task Force,” PFS argues.
[Ichthus was an entity related to Benevolent Community Trust, which was created by Manny Fialkow to obtain title to the Task Force’s building.]
However, while the Task Force had been in default on its notes for some time, at least two issues come to mind.
First, prior to the apparent co-conspirators interfering with the Task Force’s relationship with its lenders, and convincing them to sell the notes, the lenders did not appear to have any intention to exercise any remedies available for default, that is, to foreclose or evict the Task Force.
Second, prior to the apparent co-conspirators interfering with the Task Force’s relationship with its funders, the Task Force was not in default on its loans.
Following Tuesday’s arguments, a decision, which could determine the fate of the building at Peachtree and Pine, will be due in a few months.