FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Todd Hallidy
Phone: (302) 577-8314
Date: February 15, 2001
A.G. BRADY FILES ACTION AGAINST CONTINENTAL BALLROOM OWNER
(Wilmington, DE) - Attorney General M. Jane Brady today announced that the Consumer Protection Unit of the Department of Justice has filed a civil enforcement suit in Superior Court in connection with the operation of the Continental Ballroom, which was located on the Philadelphia Pike and closed in November, 1999. The suit names as defendants owner Sandra Showell and La Classique, Inc., the corporation which leased the premises and was operated by Sandra Showell.
According to the complaint, the defendants misrepresented to the public that Continental Ballroom was a banquet hall available for large wedding receptions with catering and alcohol service. In fact, Continental Ballroom had no liquor license, and in March, 2000 Showell pleaded guilty to several liquor law violations, including sale without a license. In addition, the property was zoned for a maximum of 36 vehicles and was unable to accommodate large numbers of vehicles for large social gatherings. When New Castle County began enforcement proceedings under its zoning laws, and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission began enforcement of the liquor licensing laws, Showell closed the Continental Ballroom.
More than 30 people have complained to the Attorney General's Office about the Continental Ballroom. Most had scheduled wedding receptions and had paid deposits of $1,000.00 or more. When they learned that Continental Ballroom was operating illegally or had closed, they were left with no facility and no deposit money. Efforts to obtain refunds were generally unsuccessful and often ignored.
"This is literally a case of dreams turning into nightmares for these young people and their families," said Attorney General Brady.
The suit seeks restitution for the victims, penalties for violations of Delaware's consumer laws, and the costs of prosecution.