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Hearing over auction of Greenbrier Sporting Club could be paused

A court hearing over a proposed forced auction of The Greenbrier Sporting Club could be held off while all sides engage in talks.

Weeks ago, Carter Bank & Trust filed public notice to auction the Greenbrier Sporting Club on the courthouse steps to satisfy a multi-million dollar debt from Gov. Jim Justice and his family. Attorneys for the Justice companies, in turn, asked the local court system to block the sale.

A hearing in the matter had been set for 9 a.m. April 12 before Greenbrier Circuit Judge Robert Richardson.

Now that could be bumped.

Lawyers for Carter Bank last week filed a motion to continue the hearing and hold off on the issues before the court.

Since the hearing date was set, according to lawyers for the bank, discussions among the parties have been ongoing.

Carter Bank & Trust “would like to continue those discussions in an effort to reach a resolution that might address all parties’ concerns and further action in this matter could jeopardize those discussions at present time,” lawyers for the bank wrote in the latest filing.

The filing indicated that lawyers for the Justice family have indicated their consent to the motion and possible delay of the hearing.

A proposed order for the judge filed on Friday makes similar points, saying the motion to delay the hearing is unopposed.

The Greenbrier Sporting Club is a private club offering memberships to people who buy real estate surrounding The Greenbrier resort. The Greenbrier Sporting Club Development Co. is the real estate arm owned by the Justices.

Over much of the past year, Carter Bank & Trust of Martinsville, Va., has been moving to collect $300 million in debts that were personally guaranteed by Justice, his wife Cathy and their son Jay, who runs the family’s coal operations.

The loans, which had come due last April 15, applied to several branches of the family’s business network, including Greenbrier Hotel Corp., Greenbrier Golf and Tennis Club and Greenbrier Sporting Club.

The auction of the Greenbrier Sporting Club was meant to pay down at least a portion of that debt.

The Justice companies have been trying to block the sale in Greenbrier County court. Part of that argument is the economic effect of the properties on the community as well as the potential effects on Greenbrier Sporting Club members.

A filing for the Justices seeking to halt the sale specifies that the property up for auction includes The Summit and The Lodge, which are shared facilities owned by the Sporting Club, where dining and recreational activities are available to members, and The Snead golf course, which is also owned by the Sporting Club for the use of members.

Also potentially up for auction are lots at the Sporting Club owned by the development company.