UPDATE: Judge will rule on Wednesday in Toys R Us vs DD Restaurant case
POSTED: Monday, August 22, 2011 - 3:00pm
UPDATED: Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 8:28am
TYLER — Update - Monday, August 22, 2011, 3:10pm:
KETK Reporter Roger Gray has been in the courtroom every day for the hearings, and Monday afternoon Judge Christi Kennedy informed the court that her decision would be made on Wednesday.
Be sure to keep up with the latest developments right here on KETK.
Update - Monday, August 22, 2011, 2:45pm:
The final of the hearing on the temporary restraining order against the DD Ranch restaurant by it's landlord Toys R Us, is wrapping up today .
Judge Christi Kennedy heard the deposition of the Vice President of the toy company, David Pico, where he reiterated their basic contention that the DD tried to slip the change in concept for the restaurant, with it's scantily clad waitresses by Toys R Us rather than being upfront.
At roughly 2:15pm, the plaintiffs attorney began her summation.
Defendants attorneys began their summation at 2:30pm. They contend that the lease isn't as restrictive as Toys R Us says it is.
The only thing the DD folks say they are doing is changing their name. The lease, DD says, does not allow the landlord to dictate dress or concept.
The logo, they say, was withheld due to a trademark issue, not secrecy. DD says they clearly said on their plans that the concept of the restaurant was changing.
They also claim that verbal permission was given and that that was enough to begin construction.
The lease, they say, is broad and now Toys R Us is trying to get the court to change it for them.
In rebuttal, the plaintiffs say that the whole concept is sexual and it will hurt their business.
The defense simply replied that that is a real stretch.
Judge is picking a jury in another case tomorrow, and a decision on this case will not come until Wednesday.
Vanover admitted they ordered signs for the new restaurant that indeed said Double D.
He says what he ordered was a banner, not a sign.
Plaintiff attorney is aiming to prove, as they alleged yesterday that the change in the name and theme of the restaurant was not shared with the landlord TRU because they not have approved.
Vanover said he had been to the DD in bossier city, La. Knew what the atmosphere was like.
The attorney also contends they kept on renovating after the restraining order was issued. He said they only worked on the interior, which they have a right to do.
Attorney told Vanover that the DD website said a new DD location was coming soon. He said he never looked at the website or their face book page.
Defense takes over.
Established that the logo had to be changed after he sent the plans to the city but before they sent them to TRU. That's why their plan omitted the logo. Vanover said they sent another set of the plans to TRU that had the new name spelled out.
The defense is trying to establish that there was no attempt to mislead, just a last minute logo change.
Dd trial starts one hour late...one o'clock.
A fairly crowded courtroom waited for over two hours from the original start time for The defense phase of the Double D hearing to get underway today, but Judge Christy Kennedy told attorneys she didn't want to waste too much more time on this and to avoid any playing of videos, etc.
Correction...contractor name is Vanover.
Rocky Vanover contends the new name wasn't settled yet due to some trademark issue.
He was shown a letter to TRU that accompanied the plans and it doesn't indicate the name change. He says it normally wouldn't.
He is shown the plans he sent the city of Tyler to get a building permit. They do have the DD logo.
He admitted he personally removed the logo from the plans sent to TRU.
Lawyer says it was because TRU would have rejected them. He denied that.
KETK has live tweets from the courtroom as DD Restaurant and Toys R Us face off in the 114th District Court in Smith County (most recent tweet is first). You can follow the tweets directly by following KETK photographer Albert Belez on Twitter at @KETK_ABelez . He and KETK Reporter Roger Gray are live in the courtroom as the precedings continue.
A hearing continues today in Tyler regarding the Toys R Us restraining order against the Double D Restaurant. Toys R Us contends the nature of the restaurant is "too adult" and can hurt the store's image. Also, according to the lease, Double D's has permission to sell X-rated videos out their building and TRU would profit from it.
In cross examination, attorneys for the restaurant established that the toy store sells mature-rated video games that contain sexual content and violence. A KETK courtroom reporter says Grand Theft Auto IV is being used as an example against Toys 'R' Us.
Attorney's for Double D's say the game uses very graphic images, and a person can even buy a prostitute, then shoot her. The game is sold in a TRU's glass casing.
In trying to establish hypocrisy on the part of the toy store, attorneys for the restaurant contend the lease allows for different kinds of businesses. Such a lease could be available to video stores that could potentially sell X-rated videos.
Before breaking for lunch, the attorneys turned their focus to the details of the property lease, and whether verbal permission for the restaurant was actually granted.
The controversy over the Double D restaurant continued today, in the courtroom.
There was a hearing on the temporary restraining order on the restaurant, and It was expected to be a short hearing with a rumored settlement.
But it proved to be more contentious than anyone expected.
It was the Double D restaurant versus Toys R Us.
The land the Double D sits on is owned by the toy chain, and today in the 114th District Court, a Toys R Us representative said that the road house with its scantily clad waitresses would hurt their business.
And some concerned citizens were there as well.
But the question before Judge Christi Kennedy was, does the change from an El Chico Restaurant to the Double D violate the lease?
Ultimately the lawyer for the Double D, Robert Davis, said that they needed to see more evidence, evidence that the plaintiff’s didn’t have, so the hearing is postponed for two weeks.
The restraining order remains in effect.
So, we really didn’t get a resolution today to the burning question of bare midriffs versus Barbie dolls.
We’ll have to wait two weeks for that.