Newry Holdings LLC was the sole bidder at an auction on March 15 to purchase equipment and other assets of the Newry, Maine club as it continues a legal fight over the club’s ownership with Harris Golf. An upcoming hearing will discuss accusations that Harris Golf broke into the club the week before and took 76 GPS units, 18 golf carts, two computers, 200 folding chairs, 25 tables and a skid-steer loader.
Newry Holdings LLC was the only bidder at an auction on March 15 to purchase equipment and other assets of Sunday River Golf Club in Newry, Maine amid a legal fight over the club’s ownership, the Portland (Maine) Press Herald reported.
A lawsuit is pending in Cumberland County Superior Court to determine whether Newry Holdings or Harris Golf Inc. is the club’s rightful owner. C&RB reported on the lawsuit earlier this month.
The semiprivate golf course was built by Harris Golf, which has owned and operated the club since it opened in 2005. However, Newry Holdings took ownership of the property in January because it was the sole creditor on the property’s mortgage, and it said Harris Golf failed to make a required mortgage payment. Harris Golf said it was about to pay the mortgage in December but was pre-empted by Newry Holdings in violation of a forbearance agreement, the Press Herald reported.
Newry Holdings held an auction for all of the equipment and other assets associated with the golf club, including the domain name sundayrivergolfclub.com. The company’s attorney, George Marcus, said that Newry Holdings was the sole bidder, and that it purchased the assets for $700,000. The auction was a necessary legal step for his client to exercise its right of ownership to those assets, Marcus said.
A hearing scheduled for March 14 to discuss the auction issue was canceled because of a snowstorm, but the court did not grant Harris Golf’s request to prohibit the auction.
Harris Golf attorney Tom Hallett said the next hearing in the case likely won’t occur for 30 to 60 days. The hearing will include arguments regarding accusations that Harris Golf stole equipment at the club last week. The motion filed March 13 by Marcus said Jeff Harris and others forced their way into the club the week before and removed items including 76 GPS units, 18 golf carts, two computers, 200 folding chairs, 25 tables and a skid-steer loader, according to a separate report by the Press Herald.
“Defendants’ conduct is unlawful, likely criminal, and the court should not tolerate this kind of conduct from anyone, let alone a party represented by counsel who voluntarily submitted the matter to the jurisdiction of the court for resolution,” the motion says. It asks the court to order Harris Golf to return the items immediately, the Press Herald reported.
Harris Golf attorney Ben Donahue said his clients did break into the club and remove the items, but he said everything that was taken either belonged to other Harris Golf properties, company employees or third-party vendors. Nothing that could be considered collateral on the Sunday River mortgage loan was removed, he said. “They’re the rightful owners of the property,” Donahue said. “They had every right to be there.”
The golf carts and GPS units had been leased from a company called Country Club Enterprises, which simply took its own property back, he said.
Since the incident, Newry Holdings has parked a large truck in front of the property’s entrance to block further access, Hallett said.