Attorneys say group home residents disturbing neighbors

By Cara Bailey | Oct 17, 2007

CHARLESTON - Two Kanawha County attorneys have filed a suit against a Charleston group home, claiming residents of the home are disturbing and annoying the neighbors.

Mark Toor and Allyn Turner of Charleston filed a suit Oct. 9 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Rea of Hope Fellowship Home Inc., which is located on Lee Street East. Toor and Turner, who are married, live near the home.

Marie Beaver, the executive director of the home, and Mary Elisabeth Eckerson, the president of the corporation, are also named as defendants.

The lawsuit comes after Toor was alleged of being disturbing to members of the home. Beaver filed for a peace bond in August to ensure that Toor would "keep the peace and be of good behavior," the suit says.

Toor appeared before Kanawha County Magistrate Kim Aaron, who gave him a $500 personal recognizance bond and ordered him to stay off Rea of Hope's property.

Rea of Hope, which has been in operation since 2004, is a home for women 18 years and older recovering from drug or alcohol addiction.

"The residents of the group home have intentionally conducted themselves in such a way as to maximize the amount of disturbance and annoyance inflicted upon their neighbors," the suit says.

According to the group's Web site, the conduct of admission states the residents of the home will "respect the rights, views, and property of other residents and get along with others." Toor and Turner claim the statement has been breached.

Specifically, the suit says the residents of the home have been creating loud noises and commotion during the night when neighbors are trying to sleep. The suit also says that despite complaints, the employees of the corporation have failed to limit the noise, commotion and intimidation in the residential district where the home is located.

According to the suit, Toor and Turner, through attorney Mark A. Swartz, seek to have the home moved from its current location.

They also seek damages for their annoyance and inconvenience.

In the two-count suit, Toor and Turner seek compensatory damages for emotional distress, an injunctive relief restraining the defendants from operation the home, and punitive damages to further punish the defendants.

The case has been assigned to Judge Irene Berger.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-2132

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