Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan won a judgment of contempt requiring the owner of three Spring Branch apartment complexes to relinquish management of the properties to a receiver in order to make the properties safer.
Judge Larry Weiman, of the 80th Civil District Court, heard testimony January 11th about the owner’s non-compliance with an Agreed Temporary Injunction and signed a Judgment of Contempt and Order Appointing a Receiver for the properties.
The apartments at 1824 Thonig Road, 5701 Gardendale Drive and 7507 Long Point Rd., are locations of habitual criminal activity including drug-related fights, shootings and prostitution. In September 2018, the property owner Tu W. Nguyen agreed to take certain steps to abate the criminal activity. The temporary injunciton order required the defendant to:
- Maintain at least two TECLOSE certified peace officers to secure each of the apartment properties;
- Maintain operable secrutiy cameras located on the apartments, recordng at all times throughout the properties;
- Screen potential tenants and do not lease to anyone convicted of a felony, violent crime, sex crime, narcotics offense or who has an association with any gang activity;
- Improve the lighting of the properties.
- Not to knowingly maintain a common nuisance at any of the properties.
Officers with the Houston Police Department’s Differential Response Team testified at the hearing regarding Nguyen’s violations of the Court Order and the dangerous criminal acitvity on the properties. Since the agreed temporary injunction was signed, a tenant was killed at the Long Point property and another shooting took place at the Thonig property. The Spring Branch Management District and Councilmember Brenda Stardig’s office assisted the Harris County Attorney’s efforts to improve the quality of life at these locations.
“People have the right to be safe and secure in their homes,” said County Attorney Ryan. “The County Attorney’s Office will continue to use all legal means, incluing civil law, to protect our residents from violence and crime.”
In addition to appointing a receiver, Judge Weiman ordered the defendant to pay a $5,000 fine. The defendant must pay all costs of these changes and attorneys fees.