Portage sues to shut down alleged biker clubhouse

2012-06-04T14:45:00Z 2012-07-26T13:36:06Z Portage sues to shut down alleged biker clubhouseBy Bob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com

VALPARAISO | Portage officials have filed a lawsuit seeking to shut down an alleged illegal clubhouse along U.S. 20.

A hearing has been scheduled for 11 a.m. July 27 before Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper on a request for a preliminary injunction to halt activities at the building, 6720 Melton Road, until the matter is resolved.

The lawsuit claims Hobart resident Peter Stamper violated the city zoning ordinance by failing to secure a certificate of occupancy before beginning to use the building in March.

City officials have said they believe the building is occupied by the local chapter of the Invaders Motorcycle Club.

Stamper also is accused of maintaining a common nuisance and has persisted despite notifications by the city, the lawsuit alleges.

Stamper said Monday he applied for the certificate of occupancy but the city did not respond. He said he also met with the mayor, police chief and building commissioner.

"The city is totally unrealistic," he said.

City officials say they have no adequate remedy for the problem and are asking the court to issue the preliminary injunction, followed by a permanent injunction, a $100-a-day fine and an order for Stamper to pay the city's legal costs.

Police Chief Troy Williams said last month he first noticed a sign in the front of the former smoke shop building just west of Samuelson Road in December and is aware the group has had gatherings in the building.

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