Restaurant Obtains TRO Against Fire Department over Code Enforcement

The owner of a McKinney, Texas restaurant has filed suit against the city of McKinney claiming that police, fire and code enforcement personnel are “harassing” him following a June inspection that uncovered 80 code violations. Yesterday, a judge in Collin County granted him a temporary restraining order banning police, fire and inspectors from entering the establishment unless on an emergency or if invited.

The owner of Hank’s Texas Grill, Ron Reynolds, claims that McKinney police have harassed his staff and customers over 500 times in the past 10 years, and that the harassment culminated in a June 12, 2012 inspection that cited the restaurant for an assortment of violations, including:

  • Lack of a sprinkler system
  • Issues with fire exits
  • Problems with emergency lighting and the fire alarm systems
  • Problems with grease traps
  • A giant Texas flag that is not fire rated,
  • Stuffed animals mounted on the wall that are not fire rated
  • Wall banners not fire rated
  • Lines in parking lot faded

According to Reynolds, “up until this June 12 inspection, we had absolutely zero violations for this restaurant since it was built.” He claims the feud was fuelled by a complaint filed against a police officer several years ago.

The parties are due back in court on September 18, 2012.


About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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