City of Houston

Group of Houstonians Suing White Oak Music Hall See Injunction As Victory (UPDATE)

However, the venue’s management thinks they will be able to keep the outdoor stage open.

Update, 5:30PM 1/26/2017:

Cris Feldman is the attorney for the group of Houstonians who are suing the White Oak Music Hall. He says they are satisfied with Judge Hawkins’ decision that limits the operations of the venue’s outdoor stage.
Cris Feldman (center) is the attorney for the group of Houstonians who are suing the White Oak Music Hall. He says they are satisfied with Judge Hawkins’ decision that limits the operations of the venue’s outdoor stage.

A group of Houston residents that are suing the White Oak Music Hall are celebrating a victory in court this week.

Kristen Hawkins, the Harris County District Judge in charge of the lawsuit, has issued an injunction ruling that the venue will only be allowed to hold two events on the outdoor stage using amplified sound until the parties go to trial on May 15th.

Additionally, any shows or events using that kind of sound will have to be over by 10 p.m. on weekdays and by 11 p.m. on weekends.

The attorney for the plaintiffs, Cris Feldman, says the judge’s decision sends a clear message.

“Unregulated development, without any consideration by City leaders about the impact on the community, is not gonna stand,” Feldman said at a press conference held on Thursday in front of White Oak Music Hall.

Feldman notes that the goal of the plaintiffs is for the outdoor stage to ultimately be shut down, although they are not trying to completely close the venue.

The lead plaintiff, Theresa Cavin, says the outdoor concerts are affecting her nine year-old son Austin, who is autistic.

“I’ve had to get my son out from under a table, he hides under beds, in the closet. You know, it’s… it’s not good for him,” Cavin emphasized at the press conference.

White Oak released a statement saying the majority of their shows are not affected by the litigation because they are held indoors.

Will Garwood, one of the managers at the venue, contends they have the support of residents of the area and hopes they will be able to keep the outdoor stage open.

“When we get time to actually look at the evidence and have a trial on the merits, we and the rest of the neighbors will prevail in keeping, keeping this in the neighborhood,” Garwood told Houston Public Media.

Feldman says they will seek one million dollars in damages for the plaintiffs.


 

An ongoing legal battle against White Oak Music Hall has taken yet another turn.

A judge on Wednesday granted a temporary injunction (see below) against the music venue that would limit White Oak Music Hall to only two outdoor shows over the next few months.

The order will also require the venue to install sound monitoring systems and make weekly reports to the court if audio readings exceed the Houston’s sound ordinance 

White Oak Music Hall released a statement reacting to the injunction:

“The vast majority of our shows are not affected by the litigation because they are indoors, but for the few that are outdoors, we remain hopeful for a positive resolution.”

Last month, a group of residents filed a lawsuit against the venue, saying the noise and large crowds violated their property rights.

Cris Feldman, an attorney for the residents, released the following statement:

“This is a victory for the families in three Houston neighborhoods, and it should be a wakeup call for the City of Houston to stand with families who simply want silent nights. It is time that the Turner administration join with the children who are forced to live near this mosh pit to stop the outdoor noise for good.”

A trial has been set for May 15th.

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