Lawsuit filed to stop demolition of Chinese Cultural Center

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A lawsuit was filed on Monday in hopes of saving the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A lawsuit was filed on Monday in hopes of saving the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Defendants of the lawsuit are True North Companies, David Tedesco and the City of Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Defendants of the lawsuit are True North Companies, David Tedesco and the City of Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The plaintiffs claim that they're not able to meditate or pray at the gardens at the center near the Loop 202 and 44th Street due to the fencing. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The plaintiffs claim that they're not able to meditate or pray at the gardens at the center near the Loop 202 and 44th Street due to the fencing. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
They also want to save the Chinese roofing there. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) They also want to save the Chinese roofing there. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A lawsuit was filed on Monday in hopes of saving the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix.

The lawsuit claims religious rights were violated, along with the 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, among other laws. It asks a federal judge to stop the demolition of the center.

[RELATED: Renovations at Chinese Cultural Center move forward]

"These laws and the Constitution were designed to protect these people and there's plenty of law that would allow a federal judge to stop the continued destruction of their cultural center," said Johnathan Frutkin with Radix Law in Scottsdale.

Defendants of the lawsuit are True North Companies, David Tedesco and the City of Phoenix. Plaintiffs include several members of the Chinese American community in the Valley. 

[RELATED: Phoenix City Council approves historical survey on Chinese Cultural Center]

The plaintiffs claim that they're not able to meditate or pray at the gardens at the center near the Loop 202 and 44th Street due to the fencing. They said it's a unique place to go to worship.

"With no church, where would you go? With no garden, where would we go?" asked Yumin Shi, who has been to the gardens many times.

[RELATED: Fight over Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix far from over]

More than 90 families donated more than $100,000 to build the prayer garden at the center, Radix Law said. They also want to save the Chinese roofing there.

Last week, Buddhists said they couldn't perform a religious ceremony. They said they asked to use the property to celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival.

[READ MORE: Buddhists blocked in latest clash over Chinese Cultural Center]

Jason Rose, a spokesman for True North, said the company wasn't aware of any requests and said if it had known, the Buddhists would have been allowed on the property.

The construction company said the fencing around the center is for safety reasons and was approved by the City of Phoenix.

Frutkin expects a ruling later in the week.

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