Franklin police served a court order Monday temporarily closing a Knights Inn after the city presented evidence that the motel is a public nuisance.
Police erected jersey barriers outside the property at 8500 Claude Thomas Road and taped a copy of the order, issued by the Warren County Common Pleas Court, to glass door of the motel office.
According to the order, the motel will be closed and padlocked while the court decides whether to grant the city’s request for a permanent injunction against the property.
That hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Jan. 31 in Warren County Common Pleas Court.
The court said that Franklin had showed enough evidence that the motel constitutes a public nuisance, including its reputation as “a place where criminal activity runs rampant and a host of felony and other serious criminal offenses have occurred,” as well as a “disproportionate” amount of calls received for the Franklin divisions of police and fire/EMS to respond to the property.
During the closure, the court ordered all occupants of the motel to leave, though all personal property is ordered to remain in place.
The motel owners as well as “all other persons” have been ordered not to remove or interfere with any personal property in the motel. People can reclaim personal property if they can prove they acted in good faith, didn’t know their property was creating a public nuisance and couldn’t reasonably know it was creating a public nuisance.
City Manager Jonathan Westendorf said public works employees turned off public utilities and that the windows would be boarding up the windows and erect a fence around the perimeter of the motel. He said less than 10 people who were occupying six rooms were relocated from the motel. Westendorf said those people were offered social services and medical assistance as they were relocated.
A mobile command trailer from Colerain Twp., Hamilton County, was used by city officials and were also assisted by the Franklin HOPE team, Franklin police, Franklin Fire/EMS, the Warren County Dog Warden and Warren County Sheriff’s deputies.