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Court Decides Windows Cannot Be Removed From Former Keokuk Church

Sep 4, 2014

No more windows will be removed from a former church in Keokuk.

Credit Jason Parrott

Christopher Dailey with Christ Vision, Inc., testified in late August that the windows were removed from the vacant building at the intersection of Fourth and High Streets for several reasons including protection from the installation of a new roof and restoration.

That was not enough for District Court Judge Michael Schilling, who ruled Wednesday that a temporary injunction, blocking the removal of any more windows, would remain in effect.

In his seven page ruling, Judge Schilling wrote, "Even though the reasons for removal may be grounded in good faith, this is not determinative on the issue of whether a temporary injunction should be issued."

Schilling stated numerous reasons for maintaining the injunction:

  • The city is protecting the status quo in order to prevent significant injury to the city.
  • The city has an interest in preserving the windows and maintaining security and stability of the building.
  • The temporary injunction does not place an undue burden on Christ Vision.

The city filed the injunction in mid-August after finding out someone entered the church without permission and removed some of the windows. Permission was needed because the building had been deemed unsafe to enter.

Schilling did change a condition of the injunction in his ruling, ordering Christ Vision to return the windows.

"The respondents (Christ Vision), shall return all of the fixtures removed from the building and deliver them to a location designated by the city code enforcement officer within the next five days.  The location designated shall be a building owned by the city of Keokuk and fully insured for losses," wrote Schilling.

This provision came in response to Dailey admitting, during the hearing, that the windows were being held in a vacant building near his home.

The organization filed a motion to reverse the decision and quash the injunction, citing the new provision added by Schilling and questioning how he interpreted the law regarding temporary injunctions.

Keokuk filed its initial lawsuit against Christ Vision in 2011 in an attempt to acquire the building so it can be demolished.  A hearing on that is scheduled for December.