Judge lifts restraining order preventing sale of Galt House Hotel
The trustees in control of the family-owned Al J. Schneider Co. are no longer subject to a court order prohibiting them from selling the Galt House Hotel, according to a ruling by a Jefferson Circuit Court judge dated Monday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The trustees in control of the family-owned Al J. Schneider Co. are no longer subject to a court order prohibiting them from selling the Galt House Hotel, according to a ruling by a Jefferson Circuit Court judge on Monday.
Judge Mary Shaw’s ruling voids a restraining order issued March 14 by a lower court.
Jefferson District Judge David Holton's restraining order had prevented the trustees of the Al J. Schneider Trust from selling the famed riverfront hotel or any other “real property or business concerns” of the Al J. Schneider Co. under a “plan of liquidation” favored by four of the five trustees.
The ruling represents a setback for the two daughters of late developer Al J. Schneider who are fighting their sisters’ plan to sell the hotel, but it’s unclear whether the sale is imminent now that the order has been lifted.
Court records show an unidentified buyer has offered $135 million for the hotel.
The legal family feud will continue under Shaw’s jurisdiction, and a court hearing is scheduled Monday.
Amy Cubbage, an attorney representing the trustees who want to sell the hotel, declined to comment on the ramifications of Shaw’s order, saying it “speaks for itself.”
The dispute pits Schneider's four surviving daughters against each other. On one side are Mary Moseley, CEO of the Schneider Co., and Dawn M. Hitron, who back the plan to sell the hotel.
On the other are Christe Coe and Nancy O’Hearn. In a court filing, Coe said she’s trying to stop a plan to “hastily and recklessly liquidate” the Schneider Co.’s assets, including the Galt House, which is the largest hotel in downtown Louisville.
Coe’s attorney, Jeff McKenzie, declined to comment Wednesday. O’Hearn’s attorney, Norbert Arrington, could not be reached.
Moseley, Hitron and Coe are among the five co-trustees of the Al J. Schneider Restated Revocable Trust Agreement of 1985, according to court records.
The two other co-trustees -- R. Joseph Mittel and Michael B. Mountjoy -- join Moseley and Hitron in favoring the liquidation plan, and they say they can act by a “simple majority vote” despite Coe’s objection to the hotel sale.
Schneider, who died in 2001, gave all of the voting shares of his company to the trust for 15 years following his death, according to court records. Once the trust runs out May 31, the shares revert to the beneficiaries.
Court records indicate there are more than 70 beneficiaries, including children, among Schneider’s descendants.
The $135 million offer for the hotel is “substantially more than the appraised value,” according to a filing by Moseley’s group.
While the prospective buyer is not identified, Columbia Sussex, a Northern Kentucky hotel management firm, placed a legal ad in February for liquor licenses at the hotel.