Sunset Overlook granted stay

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In a victory for Sunset Overlook, Judge Julia Gomric temporarily suspended her order against the embattled Columbia establishment on Sept. 20. 

“The court will not comment on (Sunset Overlook’s) likeliness of success on appeal but finds that (Sunset Overlook) would suffer hardship if a stay was not entered,” Gomric wrote in her ruling. 

The order prohibited the business from selling and/or serving food or drink outside, providing ancillary entertainment outdoors or providing ancillary entertainment indoors without a special use permit. 

It is now suspended while Sunset Overlook appeals the order.

The business said it was losing $10,000 in sales a week since Gomric entered her order on Aug. 14 and clarified it on Aug. 21. 

Sunset Overlook, located at 11604 Bluff Road in Columbia, appealed the order Sept. 5.

The appeal will be heard by the Illinois Fifth District Appellate Court.  

Sunset Overlook has been involved in legal proceedings since late last year when a group of nearby residents filed suit against the business for “unrelenting disturbances” like loud music and patrons. 

In her Sept. 20 order, Gomric also denied Sunset Overlook’s motion to require those residents to file an injunction bond, which would have required them to post bond for the payment of recoverable costs and damages if Gomric’s order is overturned. 

Additionally, Gomric granted the residents’ motion to require the business to post a $40,000 appeal bond, which a court can require of an appellant in a case where judgment is delayed for an appeal. 

Natalie Lorenz, the attorney for residents suing Sunset Overlook, said she thought the business would not win the appeal.

“We are confident that the appellate court will uphold Judge Gomric’s ruling in favor of the plaintiffs and grant a permanent injunction, and (we) are grateful that Judge Gomric conditioned the temporary suspension of her order on the filing of a $40,000 bond to protect the plaintiff’s interests,” she said. 

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