Jacques’, City of Vicksburg in discovery phase ahead of hearing to permanently close nightclub

Published 10:26 am Thursday, August 17, 2023

Attorneys for the City of Vicksburg and Jacques’ nightclub are in the midst of the discovery phase in preparation for their next court date, both parties confirmed.

Discovery is the formal process by which the parties to a case in court exchange information about the case. This includes information about the witnesses and evidence to be presented at trial. Its purpose is to make the parties aware of the evidence which may be presented at trial.

Joe Baladi of Watkins & Eager PLLC, who represents Jacques’, Refined South Restaurant Group and owners Jay and Kara Parmegiani, said Wednesday the discovery phase lasts a total of 30 days, during which time depositions of witnesses may be needed.

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“Without saying too much, the hearing is going to be a bit out,” Baladi said, estimating at least a two-month timeline before a hearing to permanently close the nightclub.

City Attorney Kim Nailor declined to provide an estimate, as litigation is ongoing.

Both parties are preparing for a hearing in the 9th Chancery District to grant a permanent injunction against Jacques’, 1320 Levee St., effectively closing the business permanently. The hearing comes after an Aug. 11 ruling from Chancellor Debra Giles, of Sunflower County, granting a preliminary injunction against the nightclub.

In the court order, Giles cited the City’s concerns about multiple incidents in which law enforcement assistance was requested at the bar, including two shooting incidents in the parking lot it shares with the Mulberry.

“A bar is not a nuisance per se, but it may become a nuisance by reason of surrounding circumstances,” the court order read in part. “It may become a nuisance by the manner in which it is conducted, and by the conduct of the persons assembling in and around it.

“Although (Jay Parmegiani) has a constitutional right to operate a business and has a constitutional right to admit or refuse whom he pleases inside his business, if the actions of the business threaten the peace and welfare of the city in which it operates, the court is of the opinion that can enjoin the operation of the business as it constitutes a nuisance.”

The Parmegianis maintain that they have done everything they can to prevent criminal activity in and around the nightclub, signing two memorandums of understanding and a confidential agreement between 2018 and 2022.

For the defense, Baladi did not say whether a countersuit would be filed by his client against the city if a permanent injunction is granted.