A jury trial was expected Wednesday for a Myrtle Beach nail salon owner who rescued a duck from a park at The Market Common and kept it as a pet.
Justin Chapman and Jennie Tran's nail salon is at The Town Houses at Market Common. They live above the salon.
When the Home Owners Association found out about the duck, it claimed the salon owners violated a federal law, the Migratory Bird Law, for keeping JJ inside.
Chapman claims the HOA sent multiple agencies to his business including the State Law Enforcement Division, Myrtle Beach Police, animal control and the Department of Natural Resources. Each time, he says, he had to shut down the business while they searched it. Each time, he says, there was no wrong-doing found.
Chapman then filed a lawsuit against the HOA in October for defamation of character and harrassment. He also asked the court to issue a restraining order.
The judge dismissed the potential jurors Wednesday because she is going to take the litigation under consideration.
A court date will be set for next month.
Several months ago, Chapman was walking in the park and saw JJ swimming in the pond alone. As Chapman moved closer, the duck walked up to him and would not leave his side.
Chapman picked JJ up and carried him over to a group of other ducks, but JJ was instantly rejected.
"We tried to take him over to other ducks and they ignored him," says Chapman.
Chapman decided to take JJ in and give him a home. JJ would walk around Chapman's nail salon until the HOA found out.
Chapman lives above the nail salon and would bring JJ down to work with him every morning. JJ, a Muscovy duck, was given the name JJ after his owners Jenny and Justin took him in. Chapman hopes the HOA sees this as a mistake so JJ can go home.
The HOA attorney has no comment at this time.
We will post more details as the information becomes available.