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VOL. 45 | NO. 14 | Friday, April 2, 2021

Nashville man sues city over fines, jail from illegal rental

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NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee man who spent three days in jail for operating a short-term rental unit without a permit is suing the city of Nashville, which he says targeted him because he had been on a reality TV show.

Layton Jones filed his lawsuit in February in U.S. District Court in Nashville. On Wednesday, the court granted the city an extension of time to file a reply until May 5.

Nashville officials initially cited Jones in July 2017 for improperly renting out a four-bedroom home, the Tennessean reported. Under a court injunction, he was blocked from applying for a permit to operate another short-term rental there for three years. He continued renting the home and, in 2019, he was ordered to spend three days in jail and pay a $20,050 fine – $50 fine per infraction for each of the 401 days he continued to operate the short-term rental.

In the suit, Jones claims the city stacked charges against him and other owners by waiting for numerous violations to pile up before starting formal court proceedings. He also accuses two court staff of deliberately slowing his release after he posted bond to a degree that amounted to false imprisonment.

Jones said he believes the city targeted him for enforcement because he had been on a reality TV show.

"They sought to use that publicity to make an example of Mr. Jones and reporting his detention to the media," the suit claims.

The suit also argues that the city's Environmental Court may not have had the authority to file the injunction blocking him from getting a permit.

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TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0