Fisher More College being sued for unpaid rent, taxes

03/18/2014 6:32 PM

03/18/2014 6:33 PM

The Victory Arts Management group is suing Fisher More College, a small Catholic liberal arts institution, alleging that the school is not living up to its lease and owes thousands of dollars in rent, utilities and property taxes.

The lawsuit, filed late Monday in Tarrant County civil court, states that Fisher More had a lease-to-own arrangement with Victory and owes $117,114.59 in costs because of its defaults. Victory is also seeking “liquidated damages” of $300,000.

“In accord with the terms of the lease plaintiff is entitled to the lost rent, but also the cost of reletting the premises, brokerage fees, advertising costs, and plaintiff’s cost associated with evicting defendant from the premises,” the lawsuit stated.

Sean Lynch, an attorney for the management group, said he couldn’t comment on pending litigation, and declined to answer questions about the lawsuit.

Michael King, president of Fisher More College also declined to comment.

The lawsuit states that Fisher More, formally known as The College of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More, hasn’t paid rent since December of 2013 and also owes property taxes from November to the present. The lawsuit does not list an amount.

The lawsuit also alleges that the college has not paid utilities or maintenance costs as specified in the lease.

Last June, Fisher More moved to the six-story Gothic red brick building, the former Our Lady of Victory Convent and school on Hemphill Street, in June after selling its property on Lubbock Avenue to Texas Christian University for an undisclosed amount.

During the past several months, the school has been mired in a financial crisis that threatened to shut down the college. Last fall, students rallied and organized an online fundraising drive, bringing in over $250,000.

Now, Fisher More is fighting an order from Bishop Michael Olson of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth prohibiting the traditional Latin Mass at the college.

King told the Star-Telegram previously that the college has hired a canonical lawyer and is appealing the bishop’s order.

If the college cannot conduct the Mass in Latin, it could end the mission and close down the school, King told the Star-Telegram.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

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