HAVERHILL — A hearing that was scheduled to happen Friday in Land Court in Boston regarding a lawsuit against the city and a pot shop proposed for downtown was transferred to federal district court.
City Solicitor William Cox said the city and the defendants removed the case from state Land Court, which he said they had the right to do because federal law provides jurisdiction when a suit includes federal claims as this action does. He said those claims indicate the zoning for a pot shop violates federal law.
The suit was filed by three local businessmen — Bradford Brooks, a real estate professional, and Llyod Jennings, a local contractor, both of whom are listed in the suit as trustees of L&B Realty Trust; and Steve Dimakis of Mark's Deli, who is listed as a trustee of the Evthokia Realty Trust.
Cox said the suit alleges the zoning allowing a pot shop in that part of downtown is illegal and was done incorrectly. The plaintiffs were asking the state Land Court to rule on the validity of the zoning, Cox said.
The suit specifically targets 124 Washington St., which for years housed the Sons of Italy, and which is where Caroline Pineau has proposed opening a pot shop under the name Haverhill Stem LLC. The suit indicates Pineau is leasing the building from The Westland Group LLC, which is also named in the suit.
When reached Friday, Pineau said that on the advice of her lawyer she would not comment on the lawsuit.