The city of Fort Worth filed a lawsuit against Las Vegas Trail area motel Knights Inn late Tuesday afternoon, according to senior assistant city attorney Chris Mosley.
The troubled Knights Inn is owned by Anil Patidar, a Fort Worth resident. The nuisance abatement lawsuit comes nearly two months after city officials summoned Patidar and his wife to City Hall to issue a final warning. They told the couple to meet code compliance standards and cooperate with police to deter crime on the property.
Knights Inn has been the city’s most egregious code violator for more than a decade and following an October Star-Telegram report, the city began to step up efforts to bring the motel into compliance.
If the city is successful in court, Knights Inn can be closed for one year. Patidar was not at the Knights Inn on Tuesday evening and was unable to be reached for comment.
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Following Patidar’s City Hall meeting with two city attorneys, Fort Worth police officers and code compliance officials, Patidar refused to answer questions, while his wife, Hetal Patel, said, “We do work with code and we do work with compliance to help them and to fix and address any issues that are there at the property.”
City officials made specific recommendations to begin reducing crime levels on the motel property, including hiring a security guard. Code compliance also increased its frequency of inspections.
The lawsuit is a significant step in the emerging Las Vegas Trail Revitalization Project spearheaded by city councilman Brian Byrd.
“The documented crimes which have occurred on this property are reprehensible,” Byrd said. “The filing of this lawsuit is the city’s attempt to force the owners to clean up this property in order to provide a safe place for customers and is a part of our continued effort to bring much-needed relief to the Las Vegas Trail area.”
Preceding Knights Inn into City Hall was Matthew John Baker, the manager and director of Mira Monte Apartments, which sits at the intersection of Las Vegas Trail and Calmont Avenue. In the separate meetings with Patidar and Baker, city officials warned the owners to show immediate signs of compliance or risk a lawsuit.
The city filed a lawsuit against Mira Monte on Nov. 17, and at the time Mosley said Knights Inn had not shown improvement and that a lawsuit was likely.
Patidar licenses the Knights Inn brand name from Wyndam Hotel Group, which threatened to strip the name if Patidar did not cooperate with the city.