Legal fight forces Cheney daycare to close - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Legal fight forces Cheney daycare to close

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHENEY, Wash. - A legal fight over who owns the Highlind Learning Center building in Cheney is forcing one of only four child care center's in the town to close down. Teachers and students have been told to vacate the building in 72 hours, meaning come Monday 46 kids and their parents are without child care, many with no place to go.

It's a very complex story, but what it boils down to is a legal struggle over who owns the child care building itself and who the business owners pay rent to.

It was a life-long dream for Jessica Jacobsen to open up her own childcare center. That day finally came in January of 2009 when she signed a lease with Keldon and Marianne Palvish under the assumption they owned the building. Jacobsen says it wasn't until September of that year she found out that might not be the full truth. When Eldon Sorenson, the man who claims he owns the building contacted Jacobsen and said the Palvish family was renting to own from him, but they had stopped paying, and now, he needed the Jacobsens' rent directly.

"All we wanted to know was who to pay rent to, that's all we wanted to know." Said owner of the Highlind Learning Center Jessica Jacobsen.

Jacobsen and her husband John sought the advice of 5 different attorneys who they say all told them the same thing. Until the Palvish family and Sorenson prove who owns the building in court the Jacobsens should pay rent into the court registry and write joint checks to both parties. But according to Jacobsen the Palvish family did not accept that arrangement and gave them a 10-day pay or vacate order. A judge ruled the order was in the right and now the Jacobsens are behind in paying their rent to the Palvishes even though they paid into court registry for months.

Jacobsen expressed her frustration with the situation to us saying, "Id have no problem walking out of this building today if in fact John and I didn't pay, gladly walk out and say we didn't pay rent, but we did."

The Jacobsens are now forced to pack up their dream this weekend, and notify those 46 families they have 72 hours to find new childcare. It's a situation that's hard to stomach for the Jacobsens, not just because they say it's not right, but because of all of their kids with no place to go.

"You take an entire center worth of kids, three others (in town are) full, where do these kids disperse? Where do 46 kids go in 48 hours?" asks Jacobson.

We called Eldon Sorenson but he could not be reached for comment. We did get a hold of Marianne Palvish, but she said she could not comment on the case at this time.

Kaitlyn Buldoc
KHQ Reporter

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