Highrise Drama

Magnet for drama? Robinhood Condos at the center of triple lawsuits

Magnet for drama? Robinhood Condos at the center of triple lawsuits

News_Robinhood Highrise
Robinhood Condominiums Courtesy of Houston Association of Realtors
News_Hudson Lounge
Hudson Lounge Photo by Jack Thompson
News_Adam Kliebert
Adam Kliebert Courtesy of morethanmary.com
News_Robinhood Highrise
News_Hudson Lounge
News_Adam Kliebert

The Robinhood Condominiums at 2520 Robinhood may soon be rid of Hans' Bier Haus, but the high rise's penchant for being in the center of high drama means things are far from over for the homeowners' association and its president, Mark Thuesen.

In addition to its ongoing conflict with Hans', which is now up for sale, Robinhood is also currently embroiled in lawsuits with Hudson Lounge, situated just on the other side of the complex, and real estate news website Swamplot.com.

CultureMap has obtained copies of both lawsuits, and, well, sharing is caring.

Hudson Lounge owner Adam Kliebert first filed suit against Robinhood and Thuesen in February, and Robinhood swiftly responded with a counterclaim. Both parties have been granted temporary restraining orders against each other, with a hearing slated for later this month.

Among the accusations: Kliebert claims that Thuesen spat on him, intimidated him through a variety of methods including "standing across the street" and "staring" and making obscene gestures, as well as staging elaborate shots of empty bottles and glasses strewn outside Hudson's perimeter and then sending the images to the TABC.

Besides calling the police daily to complain about Hudson's noise level, Kliebert and his attorneys allege that Thuesen egged Kliebert's car from his high rise balcony. (Sound familiar?)

In the equally juicy counterclaim, Thuesen makes reference to the spitting incident and alleges that he only hocked the loogie in question after Kliebert brandished a gun at him from the driver's seat of his Range Rover. (Isn't that your reaction to having a gun pulled on you? I believe it's called a spit and run.)

The counterclaim also makes reference to accusations of Hudson Lounge's racism, and alleges that Kliebert once used a racial epithet against the condos' concierge. In our favorite part, the counterclaim cites drug paraphernalia and "women's panties" as evidence of drug use and "illicit sex acts" that Thuesen believes occur between Hudson patrons who meander onto the Robinhood Condominiums property to commit various dirty deeds.

The lawyers in that suit at least seem reasonable. Hudson attorney Jared G. LeBlanc tells CultureMap that both sides are cooperating and anticipate reaching an out-of-court agreement in the coming weeks. Maybe they can get those restraining orders dropped and all have a friendly drink over it, eh?

As for poor Swamplot, it's been smacked with a lawsuit for defamation of character over two — yes, two — reader comments.

In a filing dated May 6, Robinhood names as defendants one Catherine Schoolar (supposedly doing business as Swamplot), the website, and Gus Allen, who's listed on the site as Swamplot's founder. Funny enough, however, Schoolar — who bears the brunt of the suit's allegations — doesn't write or manage any of Swamplot's content; she just works for the site part-time in ad-sales, according to Swamplot.

The suit takes issue with two reader comments posted on May 2 (both have since been deleted) that threaten violence against the high rise and its residents. The first comment urges readers to meet at the home of one of the lawsuit's defendants and "plan our attack against the high rise....Somebody's going to the hospital Saturday night and it ain't me!" The second comment purportedly comes from a reader who is "READY TO BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF THOSE  F@CKERS IN THE HI RISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [sic]"

Robinhood's attorney, Craig Ribbeck, says he supports the website's First Amendment right to free speech, but calls the reader comments at issue "repugnant."

Swamplot says it heard no complaints about the comments before the lawsuit was served.

Robinhood alleges that Swamplot is responsible for the user-generated comments because "Swamplot.com monitors, pre-screens and/or pre-approves the interactive areas of the site and claims to be updated regularly."

Of the comments in question, a source at Swamplot who identified himself as Allen tells CultureMap in an email, "The reader comments the lawsuit is complaining about were removed from the site within minutes of their appearance — which was after 10 p.m on a weeknight. It's likely that the only person who actually saw them on the website was the reader who submitted them."

Swamplot also says that both comments named in the lawsuit came from the same IP address within less than a minute of each other (doesn't your grammar disintegrate spontaneously?) and that both were posted under handles designed to mimic regular Swamplot commentators.

Ribbeck tells CultureMap that although details are currently vague on who exactly manages Swamplot's content, he hopes to get that resolved May 27 when all the parties have been commanded to appear before a judge. Schoolar, he says, was simply one of the names that was uncovered in the course of investigation. Allen, the other individual named in the suit, "might be fictitious," Ribbeck says.