In the lawsuit, Hiddens claims The Greene inappropriately seized and kept equipment and personal items during an eviction dispute involving Choe’s Asian Gourmet. She says The Greene’s management appeared to withhold her property so it could be utilized by a successor restaurant that opened in the Choe’s Asian Gourmet space. The suit claims The Greene’s actions “were deliberate and meant to harm” her, and it seeks compensatory damages in excess of $25,000 and punitive damages of an unspecified amount.
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An Aug. 28 response to the lawsuit by The Greene’s attorney, Susan D. Solle of the Dayton office of Dinsmore & Shohl, denies Hiddens’ claims and asks a judge to dismiss the case “in its entirety.”
Hiddens’ lawsuit is the second lawsuit to arise from the demise of Choe’s Asian Gourmet. The Greene won the first one, a “forcible entry” action filed in late 2017 that named the restaurant and its corporate ownership, as well as Hiddens herself, as defendants.
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The lawsuit claimed that the LLC that was operating Choe’s Asian Gourmet owed more than $49,000 in rent and utilities that had accumulated since July of 2017. The suit led to the eviction of Choe’s, and The Greene was awarded a $384,000 certificate of judgment.
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The final $384,000 tally that The Greene calculated that it was ultimately owed by the owners of Choe’s Asian Gourmet included $68,600 in past-due rent and late fees, $56,500 to cover costs of preparing the property to lease to a new tenant, and $257,500 in “accelerated rent difference” — basically, the difference of the rent that had been due from the most recent owners through the lease term scheduled to end in September 2020 and the new tenant’s lease. Another $1,300 was added for repairs and cleaning.
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Some of the issues raised in Hiddens’ most recent lawsuit were also a part of that 2017 eviction action.
Hiddens’ lawsuit has been assigned to Greene County Common Pleas Judge Michael A. Buckwalter, who also presided over the eviction lawsuit and awarded the $384,000 default judgment to The Greene.
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A new restaurant called Ace Asian Cafe, operating with new ownership and management, opened in the former Choe's space in April 2018.
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