City responds to lawsuit suit: ‘Jacques’ rights not violated’
Published 3:17 pm Wednesday, November 15, 2023
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen have issued a response to a $1 million civil suit filed by the owners of Jacques’ nightclub.
The owners of Jacques’ nightclub are suing the Vicksburg mayor, aldermen and police chief for violation of due process, malicious prosecution and defamation.
The suit was filed Monday in Warren County Circuit Court by plaintiffs Refined South Restaurant Group LLC and Jean-Jacques Parmegiani and Kara Parmegiani, owners of the nightclub.
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They are suing Mayor George Flaggs Jr., Aldermen Alex Monsour and Michael Mayfield and Police Chief Penny Jones for damages of at least $1 million related to the ongoing legal battle that left the nightclub shuttered for four months.
The city’s response to the suit outlines the process the Board of Mayor and Aldermen took that resulted in closing Jacques. The city sought an injunction permanently closing the nightclub but a Sunflower County Chancery Court judge on Nov. 9 ruled the City of Vicksburg’s preliminary injunction was void.
According to the city’s response, the board after a July 24, 2023, executive session voted to abate the public nuisance at Jacques Nightclub operating at 1310 Mulberry St. in Vicksburg.
“This action was taken by the board after Jacques’ failed to adhere to the terms and conditions of two memorandum of understanding and a confidential agreement entered into with the city for the safe operation of Jacques’,” according to the response.
“The first memorandum of understanding was signed on Dec. 26, 2018, after an altercation occurred inside Jacques’ that resulted in gunfire being exchanged outside and across the street from the premises. The second memorandum of understanding was signed on June 10, 2020, after an altercation occurred inside of Jacques’ that resulted in an ejected club patron firing gunshots into the air as he tried to gain entry inside of the club.”
A confidential agreement was signed on April 29, 2022, after an altercation occurred inside Jacques’ that resulted in two patrons being injured fleeing from the fight, according to the city. According to the terms of the agreement, Jacque’s agreed to maintain a zero-tolerance policy related to misconduct, to report unlawful and disorderly activities to the Vicksburg Police Department and to comply with the law at all times.
After the agreement, from January 2023 until Jacques’ was closed, Vicksburg police officers reported to Jacques’ on many occasions for shootings, possession of drugs inside of the club, disorderly conduct, fights, assaults resulting in medical treatment and minors being allowed inside of the club.
Also, according to the city’s response, agents with the Mississippi Beverage Control reported to Jacques’ for the illegal sale of alcohol by Jacques’ employees to a minor. “The Vicksburg Police Department has spent an inordinate amount of time dealing with these issues,” the response continued. “Due to the failure of Jacques’ to abide by the agreement and MOUs, the city took necessary lawful measures to ensure that the continued reports of criminal acts were abated.
“No actions of the city were done with any malicious or ill intent nor were any actions in violation of Jacques’ constitutional rights. Any actions by the city were taken to ensure that public safety remained of utmost importance.”