The Westminster Shopping Center is giving Pamela Snowhite Davis and her counter-culture shop Liberation until Labor Day to leave, according to court papers and attorneys involved in the case.
Even though rent hasn't been paid for the store since May, attorneys for the shopping center and for Davis are expected to sign an agreement this week allowing the 48-year-old marijuana-rights activist to keep Liberation open as long as she pays rent for August and the first week of September.
"We're not interested in being unfair, and we want to permit her to stay so she can liquidate in an orderly fashion," said J. Barry Hughes, the Westminster attorney representing shopping center owner Washington Real Estate Investment Trust.
Davis had never missed any of her $1,500 rent payments until June, when she was in jail and her husband did not pay, court records and attorneys said. She was released on bond June 24 pending the appeal of her March conviction on felony drug charges involving less than an ounce of marijuana.
She said she decided the rent money could better be used for her legal defense fund.
"I'm done paying rent until my freedom papers are paid for," she said yesterday, referring to the more than $15,000 she expects to pay for the appeal of her drug conviction.
Should she fail to pay rent from Aug. 1 through Labor Day, Washington Real Estate Investment Trust is armed with an eviction order signed Friday by Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr.
Yesterday, Mr. Hughes said that if rent is not paid, his client will evict her before Labor Day.
The June and July rent will be reduced to a judgment against Davis, Mr. Hughes said.
When the Westminster Shopping Center began eviction proceedings against Davis in January, owners sought to kick her out because she used Liberation as a soapbox for her pro-marijuana views.
A jury trial in the eviction had been scheduled for next month, but her failure to pay rent made the case simpler. Judge Burns' order giving the shopping center the right to evict canceled the need for a jury trial.
Yesterday, Davis said she wasn't sure where she would open a store after her pot liquidation and relocation sale.
"I'm looking at places here in Carroll County all the way down to Baltimore," she said.