Former First Lady Cora Masters Barry and the Recreation Wish List Committee are asking a judge to prohibit the city from kicking them out of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center.
Sunday marks the last of the 30 days that the Office of Property Management gave the group to vacate the very premises that Barry built a decade ago. The agency ordered the eviction because the committee allowed its charter as a registered corporation to expire, which was a term of its lease agreement.
Though the committee has since filed its paperwork to become a registered D.C. corporation, the city still appears to be poised to evict Barry. There were fears that the group would be locked out of the building Sunday, but there are apparently no plans for that tactic.
A. Scott Bolden, an attorney for the committee, said the city has been unresponsive. "We have no choice," he said. "With the government's lack of response, they're inviting a lawsuit."
He filed on Friday for a temporary restraining order, injunctive relief and declaratory relief, and expects a judge to hold a hearing on the matter next week.
Several national figures, including tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams, are trying to help resolve the committee's dispute with the city. Civil rights legend Dorothy Height and renowned poet Maya Angelou have tried to schedule a meeting with Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) but have not yet succeeded.