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Judge Enters Consent Judgement Against Goldsboro Restaurant

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GOLDSBORO, N.C. — Superior Court Judge Jerry Braswell entered a consent judgement against C&L Restaurant and Lounge on Thursday.

The defendants in the suit are Melvin and Doris Lewis, owners of the establishment located at 614 North John St.

Braswell's decision marked the latest step in a civil nuisance abatement case brought by Wayne County District Attorney Branny Vickory on behalf of the State of North Carolina.

At Vickory's request, a member of the Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) Nuisance Abatement Team investigated the nuisance complaint and compiled the information for the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleged that the property was a location where breaches of the peace frequently occurred, including two murders in the past year and other violent criminal behavior.

Officers with the Goldsboro Police Department researched police records concerning the property and provided the information to the agent on the case.

Under the conditions of the judgment, the defendants are to ensure that nuisance activities do not continue at the property.

Melvin Lewis also is required to ask the North Carolina ABC Commission to cancel all ABC permits currently issued at his property.

If the defendants or future owners violate the terms of the consent judgment, they may be held in contempt of court and subject to a fine and jail sentence.

"This consent judgment should be a welcome relief to those living near the C&L property," Vickory said. "This has been a joint effort with ALE's Nuisance Abatement team, the Goldsboro Police Department and the community to help restore peace to the neighborhood.

"Thanks go to the defendants, as well, for their willingness to help rid the neighborhood of any future criminal activity."

The defendants and all other persons are prohibited from operating on the property any type of adult establishment, bar, lounge, nightclub, dance club, club, game room or similar business, exclusive of a restaurant.

The defendants are to post and maintain "No Loitering" and "No Trespassing" signs, initiate an eviction process against people who engage in any criminal act or engage in nuisance-related activity upon the property and pay filing fees and costs assessed in this action.

Future owners of the property are also bound by the terms of the court's order.

Additionally, the consent judgment prohibits the defendants from operating a nuisance elsewhere in North Carolina.

"Goldsboro should be a safe community for all of our citizens," Goldsboro Police Chief Tim Bell said. "This is a useful tool if we have similar problems in the future."

Bell said this is the first time he has worked with the ALE's Nuisance Abatement Team. He said he is pleased with the resulting action.

Bryan Beatty, the secretary of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, said ALE works well assisting local communities with crime problems such as this one.

"We are pleased to be able provide this help for our citizens," Beatty said. "There is nothing more important than maintaining safe communities."

Since its inception in 1994, ALE's Nuisance Abatement Team has worked with local communities in addressing complaints at 504 properties across the state.

The five-member team is investigating complaints at 20 to 30 locations across North Carolina.

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