A longtime Jessup barber has sued his partner, contending she is trying to cut him out of their business.
Julius Warren Jr., operator of the Hair Cutters, filed suit in Howard Circuit Court on Oct. 1 seeking to block his partner, Peggy Naranjo, from selling the lease to their shops.
Mr. Warren, 53, whose family has operated barber shops in Jessup since the 1940s, also asks that she pay him $20,000 for his investment in the business.
Ms. Naranjo owns Peggy's Shear Elegance, a salon adjoining the Hair Cutters shop in the 7800 block of Washington Blvd.
The partners agreed to split rent, operating costs and remodeling expenses for the space the shops occupy, the suit said. Mr. Warren and Ms. Naranjo renewed their lease for five years in September 1988.
Besides Ms. Naranjo, who could not be reached for comment, the suit names as defendants Don Colbert and Dr. Dorsey Williams, two Laurel men who agreed to buy the lease to the shops.
Mr. Colbert operates Don's Barber Shop in the 200 block of Main St. in Laurel.
"It's messy," said Mr. Warren, who noted that he and Ms. Naranjo have been friends for years. "We've become so estranged that we can't sit down and talk it over."
Mr. Warren and Ms. Naranjo signed a contract for their adjoining shops in the Jessup Market Square building in July 1982, the suit said.
The dispute started when Ms. Naranjo decided to retire and sell her shop, but was unwilling to pay for Mr. Warren's part of the business, he said.
Ms. Naranjo informed Mr. Warren about six months ago that she intended to sell their lease to Mr. Colbert and Dr. Williams for $40,000 and that he had 30 days to vacate the premises, Mr. Warren said.
Mr. Warren demanded $20,000 for his half of the business, but Ms. Naranjo refused to pay him, the suit said.
Mr. Colbert and Dr. Williams informed Mr. Warren that they planned to knock down a wall to a neighboring store to expand the shop and continue using the Hair Cutters name, according to the suit.
"Unless the defendants are restrained by this court from the sale and demolition of the demised premises . . . [Mr. Warren] will suffer grave, immediate and substantial and irreparable injury."
Circuit Judge Dennis Sweeney, who has been assigned to the case, has ordered the parties to submit evidence for their arguments within 30 days.