Club Empire in Hattiesburg declared a public nuisance

Pine Belt

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – A Hattiesburg nightclub has been temporarily closed after city leaders declared in a public nuisance.

The Hattiesburg American reported a 560-page petition was filed on behalf of the City of Hattiesburg, saying Club Empire is a danger to its patrons in addition to being a public nuisance. Judge Rhea Sheldon signed the temporary restraining order on Thursday, September 30.

In the court order, Sheldon wrote that there are numerous allegations against the club “which reflect a course of continuing and escalating criminal and violent activity.

The ruling comes after City Council members voted 4-1 at their September 21 meeting to name Club Empire and Ropers Rockin’ County public nuisances. Mayor Toby Barker signed a request for the restraining order on Wednesday.

According to the newspaper, Club Empire officials said in an earlier story they did not want to comment on the situation.

No legal action has been taken against Ropers, which closed sometime early in the coronavirus pandemic. However, officials announced on its Facebook page that they intend to reopen the nightclub.

As for Club Empire, the restraining order will be valid for 10 days. A hearing has been set for 9:00 a.m. Wednesday in Chancery Court.

One of the owners, Stacy Daniels, was charged September 11 by Hattiesburg police with two misdemeanors. Two others were also charged by Alcoholic Beverage Control agents.

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