St. Maarten – The battle between Marty Dijkhuis, who operates the Dream pool bar at the Alegria Resort in Beacon Hill and the resort owners continues. In October, the Court in First Instance blocked a second attempt by Alegria to kick Dijkhuis out. Shortly after that ruling, the resort closed off the water to the bar – a situation that lasted for 25 days. When Dijkhuis filed a lawsuit against the resort, his water supply miraculously returned the next day.
Yesterday Dijkhuis faced off with Alegria in court. Judge Sander van Rijen will pronounce his ruling next week Friday, but it is already clear that he will reject the demand that Alegria reconnects the pool bar to the water supply, because this has already been done.
Attorney Willem Nelissen told the court that this is no guarantee for the future: “It is to be expected that Alegria will disconnect the water again the day after the handling of this case. Alegria’s actions show that it has no respect whatsoever for the rights of its tenants.”
Dijkhuis furthermore demands that Alegria pays his legal expenses and the damages he has suffered from being unable to operate the pool bar.
In a passionate plea to the court. Dijkhuis explained the situation at the resort and the way Alegria is treating him.
“For a whole month I have been sending emails, asking for an explanation why I don’t have water in my pool bar since October 8. They completely ignore everything.”
Dijkhuis noted that it took a maintenance employee just one afternoon – on November 2 – to repair a broken water pipe in one of the toilets. “They began immediately with this simple repair after my attorney filed the lawsuit. Why this had to take a month is by now clear to me: constructive eviction. This is costing me money to start this law suit. Sucking me financially dry continues due to these scandalous actions by Alegria.”
The disgruntled though resilient bar operator told the court that Alegria had caused him “serious financial damages” by cutting off the water without giving a reason. “They try everything to paint me black, but they have not managed to achieve this and they won’t manage to do that either.”
Dijkhuis said that he had three police reports about the disconnected water supply. He recorded conversation with the police and manager Fahdi Salem, who claimed that there is an underground leak. “When I asked him to show where that leak is, he said, in the presence of the police, that he did not have to show me anything and that half the resort is without water as well. That is a lie because the main line that brings water to the pool bar does not supply water to the resort rooms.”
A maintenance man told Dijkhuis that, at the orders of Salem, he was not allowed touch anything and that the water had to remain disconnected.
Then, Dijkhuis said, somebody destroyed the toilet. “It would not surprise me if they blamed me for that as well. I will never sink that low and this would not benefit me at all. With all the security that is walking around on the resort, I am not so retarded that I would risk losing my pool bar by destroying a toilet.”
Dijkhuis said that he is the number 1 on TripAdvisor. “I have thousands of supporters who want nothing better than that I keep the pool bar because this is where they feel comfortable and where I take good care of them.”
Alegria is busy “driving me into the ground financially,” Dijkhuis said. “They have lost every court case against me and they are supposed to pay my legal fees but they don’t do that. This is costing thousands of dollars.”
The pool bar suffered losses of $130 per day since Alegria cut off the water supply. “We had no ice, could not wash our hands and could not clean anything.”
Dijkhuis’ attorney Willem Nelissen labeled Alegria’s behavior as “vigilante justice” adding that this is unlawful and also reprehensible. “It is clear that Alegria cut off the water out of rancor, only to cause damages to my client. The damages consist of four weeks of missed turnover and the costs of legal assistance
Alegria did not present a single document to justify the disconnection of the water supply. “No large-scale repairs took lace either. With the opening of the main tap, the problem was solved.”
The plaintiff demands that Alegria reconnects the water supply and keeps it connected, under threat of a penalty for non-compliance. Nevertheless, Nelissen expects that Alegria will disconnect the water again. “In that case, my client can begin to complain again in vain, and spend money again on legal assistance and start a lawsuit, only to see his water supply reconnected temporarily again after the petition has been served. Then the dance starts all over again.”
Alegria’s attorney Metin Unsal told the court that the resort had been forced to disconnect the water due to the destruction of the toilet. The resort filed a complaint about this.
“The pool bar has water again,” he said. “The cause of the disconnection was the destruction of the toilet. The resort also suffered from this. The plaintiff has no interest whatsoever in its demand now that the water supply is restored,”
Unsal announced that the resort has filed a lawsuit about the status of the lease agreement with Dijkhuis and about the way the – turnover dependent – lease fee has to be calculated. “Dijkhuis creates the idea that Alegria is harassing him, but in reality, Alegria is behaving like a good landlord.”