Earth Recycling files for injunction in civil suit against Minot

MINOT, N.D. - The legal battle continued Wednesday between Earth Recycling and the City of Minot, in a court hearing that lasted more than three hours.

The attorneys representing Earth Recycling filed a motion for a preliminary injunction Tuesday to allow the company to continue operating at its present location off of the 83 bypass, according to zoning ordinances put in place in 2008.

A massive fire destroyed the facility in May. In July city officials filed a ‘cease and desist’ order against the company over updated zoning ordinances.

Earth Recycling, along with Divine Mercy, LLC, who owns the land, filed a civil suit against the city last month, arguing city officials improperly applied the ordinances against them.

Maureen and Arden Jesz, the couple that owns and operates Earth Recycling, testified at Wednesday’s hearing. They argued that the company should be grandfathered in to the 2008 ordinances, but city officials assert the company should comply with updated ordinances in 2013.

The Jeszs said they are caught in a sort of ‘catch-22.’ In order to continue the cleanup from the fire—and stay in compliance with state health officials—they said they have to continue their recycling operations. But, if the city wins the case and they have to stop or relocate, they would not be able to finish the cleanup.

The Jeszs also testified that if they had to close they would suffer financial hardships and have to lay off as many as six employees.

Deb Carroll with Divine Mercy also testified that, if the Jeszs have to vacate the premises, she would be left with a large mess on her property and no one to clean it up.

Rob Davis, the Planning Director for the City of Minot, testified that he had encouraged the Jeszs to continue the remediation process.

“We wanted them to continue cleaning up,” Davis said.

Attorneys representing the city asked for more time to go over documents in the case.

The two sides could meet again Friday before the judge rules on the injunction and restraining order.