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Court rules against Hearthstone Ministries in eviction case


ADAMS — Hearthstone Ministries will have to vacate its East Church Street location by Aug. 31, following a Tuesday decision in Adams Village Court.

The store building is owned by Peggy A. Brouty through her P.A.B. Enterprises.

Ms. Brouty’s attorney, Lucy M. Gerviss of Schwerzmann & Wise P.C., Watertown, argued to village Justice Marilyn E. Hosley that the building’s lease was on a month-to-month basis, and that the store had about 90 days to leave following the eviction notice, three times the necessary 30 days.

“We’re not trying to be the bad guy here at all, but we do have a month-to-month tenancy and 30-day notice is all that’s required under the law and we did do that,” Ms. Gerviss said.

The church has used the space, 11 E. Church St., as a thrift shop and for its services since April 2011. The store’s operators, the Rev. Susan M. Sampson and her husband William A. Sampson, were first served with an eviction notice at the end of April.

During the hearing, the Sampsons argued it took them a month to verify the eviction notice. They claimed that in the past, they had been given assurances by an agent for Ms. Brouty based on thousands of dollars in repairs they made to the building. Mr. Sampson said the church was attempting to raise money to buy the building based on an offer of $105,000 from last year, which drew a head shake from Ms. Brouty.

Ms. Gerviss said that there was no standing offer for the church to buy the building. Attempts by the Sampsons to delay the proceedings to procure additional documents were rebuffed by the justice.

After about 20 minutes of arguments, Ms. Hosley ruled in favor of Ms. Brouty, and at Ms. Brouty’s request, the Sampsons were given until Aug. 31 to clear the space. Though Ms. Brouty did not want the store’s $600-per-month rent for the months since the eviction notice was received, the Sampsons were ordered to pay $20 per day until they leave the building.

The church will hold a fundraiser in its parking lot from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 17 to help its relocation efforts.

“We’ll raise as much as we can,” the Rev. Mrs. Sampson said. “Maybe there’s another place for us.”

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