Circuit Court judge grants Crescent Club attorney extension until Jan. 13 to file initial brief in noise violation case entailing $4,000 fine

Attorney for club owner Kompothecras advises judge that ‘good faith’ negotiations underway

A 12th Judicial Circuit Court judge has granted an attorney representing Dr. Gary Kompothecras an extension until Jan. 13, 2023 to file the initial brief in a noise violation case involving the Crescent Club on Siesta Key’s Midnight Pass Road.

Attorney Robert Lincoln, whose eponymous firm is located in Sarasota, pointed out in his Oct. 27 motion that the parties “are negotiating in a good faith attempt to reach a settlement in this matter.”

Lincoln then noted that he had consulted with Assistant County Attorney Scott Bossard prior to filing the motion for the extension, and Bossard had no objection to the action.

Circuit Judge Kevin Bruning signed his order on Oct. 28, court records show.

Formally, the owner of the Crescent Club is CCSK Land Holdings LLC. However, The Sarasota News Leader learned through research that the limited liability company uses the same principal address as other companies that Kompothecras controls. A Siesta businessman and chiropractor, Kompothecras purchased the Crescent Club for $3.4 million in January 2019, Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office records show.

The club stands at 6519 Midnight Pass Road.

Earlier this year, Lincoln won an extension until Nov. 4 to file his initial brief in the noise complaint case. Then, he cited the need for extra time to obtain the applicable records from Sarasota County staff. Assistant County Attorney Bossard had not objection to that request, either.

Judge Bruning granted it, as well.

In early June, Rick Russ, the county Code Enforcement officer who handles issues on Siesta Key, explained to members of the Siesta Key Association (SKA) that the initial complaint about the Crescent Club came from a member of that nonprofit. Although the live music at the club was supposed to end at 10 p.m., it was continuing beyond that time, Russ said. The club would have to obtain a Special Exception from the County Commission, he pointed out, if it were to be able to provide live music after 10 p.m.

In email exchanges among Russ and other persons representing Kompothecras, which the News Leader obtained through a public records request, one of those individuals informed Russ that, “down the road,” the Crescent Club might file the necessary Special Exception petition with the county.

Prior to that email dialogue, a Code Enforcement Special Magistrate in the county had imposed a $4,000 fine on CCSK Land Holdings as a result of repeated violations of the county’s sound ordinance. That penalty was imposed on June 3, Code Enforcement Division records showed.

As the News Leader has reported, in February 2019, the County Commission unanimously approved a fine up to $5,000 for Code Enforcement violations that are found “to be irreparable or irreversible in nature.”

The June 3 penalty order said that CCSK Land Holdings had been “duly served with a notice” for the June 3 hearing. However, no one appeared at that event on behalf of the company, the order added.

Because the Crescent Club had failed to comply with an April 22 order of the Special Magistrate “to correct the violation,” the Special Magistrate imposed the fine, “plus interest at the legal rate of 4.25% per annum and a $10.00 recording fee,” the resulting document stated, with emphasis.

On June 30, attorney Lincoln filed a Notice of Appeal of the fine with the Circuit Court. It was forwarded the same day to the judicial assistant of Circuit Judge Andrea McHugh for review, court records show.

Then, on Aug. 11, CCSK Land Holdings posted a civil bond of $4,340 in the case. Rule 9.310(b)(1) of the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure “provides that money judgments are automatically stayed upon the posting of a bond in the amount of the judgment plus twice the yearly statutory interest rate on the amount on which the party has an obligation to pay interest,” as the Florida Bar explains.

That rule also says that a trial court does not have discretion to grant a stay of a monetary judgment by motion,” the Bar adds.