District Judge Orders Mediation between Prime Prep and Charity Church
Wednesday, April, 23, 2014
A State District Judge in Texas has ordered a private school and a church into mediation over an increasingly volatile dispute over rent, property damage and other issues stemming from an agreement made in 2011.
Prime Prep, a school co-founded by former Dallas Cowboys football star Deion Sanders, came to an agreement with Charity Church to rent classroom space for $18,000 a month, with the understanding that the school would use the facility rent-free for the first three years. Problems began when the church accused Prime Prep of using the facility for purposes not outlined in the rental agreement, and of damaging equipment and property during their use of the space. The church terminated the free rent period and demanded the school begin paying rent. In response, the school moved its classes to a different building not owned by the church, and successfully gained a temporary restraining order preventing the church from collecting rent or entering the rented premises.
The State Judge hearing the case has agreed to extend the restraining order for the time being, but ordered both sides into mediation to seek a resolution to the dispute. Prime Prep has stated that the lease was improperly entered into and they should not be held responsible for rent going forward. Both sides have agreed to settle the property damage accusations separately.