Local club Shenanigans sues City of Huntsville

A lawsuit against the City of Huntsville currently in a U.S. District Court alleges the Huntsville Police Department violated civil rights violations and led to a loss of business at Shenanigans, a nightclub in the city.

Darrell Tarvin and D&S Entertainment, operating as Shenanigans, is suing the Huntsville claiming that Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment violations by the Huntsville Police Department led to a “legal debt and damages due….by reason of systematic abusive actions,” the lawsuit says.

Former Police Chief Allwin Barrow is also listed as a defendant individually for his role in the allegations.

“[The city] engaged in conduct to shut down [Tarvin and D&S Entertainment’s] business concern,” court documents say. “[The city] employed a ‘full court press’ to cause [the] business to suffer materially. The defendants, by their actions caused…customers and patrons to stop patronizing [the]…business causing a loss of income.”

In February 2011, Tarvin sent a letter to the city requesting more than $285,000 for alleged civil rights violations that came after Shenanigans was shut down for a wook to investigate after the Dec. 30 stabbing of John Wayne McCrary, according to a Feb. 16 article in the Huntsville Item.

“Through embellished information, my client’s business was wrongfully shut down for a week, causing financial losses as well,” Huntsville attorney Bennie Rush (who represented Tarvin at the time) said in the article. “Thereafter, the full court press was instituted and patrons were harassed and driven away by the Huntsville Police Department.”

William Helfand, attorney representing the city, said he doesn’t think Tarvin has a case against the city.

“It’s not at all inappropriate for the police to charge someone who is breaking the law,” Helfand said. “If anyone that is a patron of the bar is found to be violating the law, they are subject to being charged with the crime and fully prosecuted by the court system.”

The parties will hold a conference on May 2, 2012 to discuss the specifics of the case.

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