MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – A Myrtle Beach motel that the city and police have called a public nuisance received a big win in court.
Back in February, the city of Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock served a public nuisance notice to the Lancer Motel on North Kings Highway, which called for the owners to close it within 30 days.
Police said during the course of a year, there were more than 450 calls and complaints of criminal activity at the hotel, such as drugs, prostitution and fighting.
A special hearing officer was brought in, and a written order on April 3 from the special hearing officer declared the property a nuisance offending public decency, peace and order.
The owners of the Lancer Motel, Chandrakant Patel and his son Sanchin Patel, appealed that decision. They said in court filings that all, in not most, of the evidence submitted during a hearing was based on 911 calls made in the general area and not at the motel itself. They said it was the responsibility of the city and not the business.
Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Culbertson filed an order on July 26 saying the, “Hearing Officer appointed by City Manager did not have jurisdiction to determine existence and abatement of alleged public nuisance.”
It also calls on the motel’s attorney, Russell Long, to prepare a formal order in the case.
The Horry County public index also labels the case as dismissed.
WMBF News has reached out to the city of Myrtle Beach to see if this new order means the case is over or if officials will be taking another step in the case against the Lancer Motel. We are waiting to hear back, and will bring you the next steps in the case.