Spiegel Farm fined $2,500 for violating temporary injunction

Published 9:16 am Friday, July 31, 2009

Spiegel Farm owner Sue Spiegel was fined recently $2,500 for holding weddings at her farm despite a temporary injunction barring her from such activities.

Master in Equity Gordon Cooper ruled last week that Spiegel violated Circuit Judge Derham Cole&squo;s temporary injunction filed in June that barred her from hosting weddings or other commercial activities at her 62-acre farm in Campobello, S.C.

A court hearing was scheduled yesterday to rule on whether to make the temporary injunction permanent. Results from the hearing were unavailable as of press time yesterday.

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The temporary injunction was handed down after the Wendswept Homeowners&squo; Association filed a lawsuit in February claiming that Spiegel has hosted weddings since 2001 and other events in violation of the association&squo;s covenants, which restrict commercial events from the property.

Spiegel admitted during the hearing last week that she hosted weddings on July 11 and 18, stating that her former attorney advised her if she refunded the clients&squo; money, the activity would not be considered commercial. She also said she hadn&squo;t been served with the injunction.

&dquo;This court specifically finds that the defendant violated the temporary injunction by holding weddings on the property, which was a commercial activity whether or not she was compensated,&dquo; Cooper wrote.

Spiegel has hosted around 340 events since 2001 on the property and says she was told by the developer that as long as the events were equestrian related, the events would be allowed by the covenant. Spiegel says having to close down her business will bankrupt her.

An advertisement was run in the Bulletin this week urging area residents to attend the court hearing yesterday in support of Spiegel, saying &dquo;a great Tryon and Landrum friend and benefactor needs your help.&dquo;

The ad and Spiegel Farm&39;s website says Spiegel recently sacrificed and dismantled her outdoor arena wedding facility, an almost $50,000 investment with an annual income of $140,000, and returned it to an equestrian facility, &dquo;all to no avail.&dquo;

&dquo;If she loses this battle she will not even be allowed to host her own son&squo;s upcoming wedding on her property,&dquo; says the advertisement.

The ad also speaks of Spiegel&squo;s chartible work such as hosting an Easter Egg Hunt for hundreds of underprivileged children and donations to local charities.