‘Hot spot for criminal activity;’ City granted court order to shut down Franklin motel

FRANKLIN — The City of Franklin was granted a court order Monday to shut down a motel they are calling “an epicenter of continuous and substantial criminal activity.”

In a complaint against The Knights Inn on 8500 Claude-Thomas Road, the city details a list of grievances against the property including allegations against the LLC that owns the property saying they were accepting periodic payments from a private company presenting itself as an addiction treatment facility in exchange for long-term housing of “patients” and constant calls for emergency services.

After a request for information, a city spokesperson provided News Center 7 with a copy of the complaint that was filed in the Warren County Commons Pleas Court on Jan. 23 as well as additional documents including a cease and desist letter.

On Jan. 13, the city served a notice of violation to “Skylight Motels LLC” which is registered in Riverside and has owned the property since 2019.

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The notice gave Skylight Motels until Jan. 20 to take the actions requested by the city such as removing guests who have resided at the hotel for greater than 30 days and providing the city with access to all hotel records that confirm any violations of the law or maintenance issues.

The complaint states that Skylight did not comply with the actions requested and has yet to contact the city, so they sought and were eventually granted the court order to “shut down and padlock the property indefinitely.”

“Enough is enough,” the complaint states.

The city claimed the property is a drain on emergency services, stating fire and medic crews have discovered five dead bodies on the hotel premises in five years and are consistently responding to drug, theft and violence-related activities.

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“The Knights Inn is a well-known hot spot for criminal activity and a frequent flyer on the city’s law enforcement radar,” it states.

The complaint continues to state that since 2019 fire and medics have received a total of 520 calls for service to the Knights Inn — almost more than three surrounding hotels combined.

Along with calling for the hotel to be shut down and padlocked, the order also requires all occupants of the hotel to leave and not remove any personal property or property belonging to the hotel.

The documentation provided by the city spokesperson did not include plans for those living at the motel who have been displaced and it is not known if the city is providing services for those impacted.

The city said they will provide a statement on the court order in the coming days.

News Center 7 has reached out to an email registered to Skylight Motels as well as The Knights Inn’s parent company Red Lion for comment.

This is a developing story and will continue to be updated as new details become available.