Apartment Residents Sue

Maggie Sieger. Galveston Daily News. May 25, 1995

Galveston-A federally subsidized apartment complex that publishes a list of people residents are forbidden from speaking to is violating the law, a resident’s lawsuit claims.

Policies at  Sandpiper Cove Apartments, 3916 Winnie, forbid residents from talking to anyone on the list of undesirables, leaving their apartment for more than 14 days and allowing anyone to visit for more than three days.

Tenants must follow the policies or face eviction, said Max Sukiennik, an attorney with Gulf Coast Legal Foundation, which sued against the apartments on behalf of Ora Johnson, a resident.

Cheryl Green, the apartment complex manager who is also named in the suit, declined to comment.

She referred all questions to the Sandpiper lawyer, Jeff Kemp, who could not be reached.

The lawsuit, filed in the 122nd District Court, claims Green publishes an ever-expanding list of names of people who are banned from the Sandpiper property.

Any tenant observed talking to those people faces immediate eviction, Sukiennik said.

There are at least three lists, which contain more than 240 names. Some of the names are duplicated.

There is no list that details who the banned people are or how to identify them, added Stephen McIntyre, another foundation attorney.

McIntyre said another policy, which forbids tenants from being absent from their apartment for more than 14 days, also is ridiculous.

The policy requires tenants who wish to leave for more than two weeks to get permission from Green.