Appeal likens Lakes Golf Course restoration order to slavery

The lawyer for Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Course owner Wilson Gee has told the state Court of Appeals that a judge’s order to restore the course violates the U.S. Constitution amendment that outlawed slavery. The course was closed in 2013 and has been a battleground between Gee and residents ever since. / Ahwatukee Foothills News


Deed restrictions governing the defunct Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Course cannot be used to force owner Wilson Gee to rebuild it because they only forbid certain developments and don’t require anything, his lawyer told the Arizona Court of Appeals.

In a lengthy brief filed last week, attorney Chris R. Baniszewski said that not only do the regulations not require a golf course, but that forcing his client to build one would violate the 13th Constitutional Amendment that banned slavery.

“The 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits involuntary servitude, which is what an injunction would require,” Baniszewski said, referring to an injunction issued earlier this year by Superior Court Judge John Hannah.  “Because a contract for personal services cannot be specifically enforced, the court cannot enjoin (his client) and require it to operate a business on the property.”


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