Sterling Heights pigeon case adjourned until January

Sterling Heights — A Sterling Heights man will have to wait three more months to find out if he will avoid jail time and be able to house his prized pigeons back on his property, following a judge's decision Tuesday to postpone a hearing.

Weam Najib Jarbo’s pigeons are being kept by a friend pending a court hearing that's been delayed until Jan. 10.

Weam Najib Jarbo is fighting to not only have the nuisance violation charge against him dropped but also to get his beloved pigeons — about 60 of them — back home. Jarbo said he spent $80,000 for a city-specified coop for his pigeons, which he races as part of a sport that's popular in the Chaldean community.

Jarbo was hoping the matter would be settled in court Tuesday, but a hearing before 41-A District Court Judge Kimberley Wiegand was postponed until Jan. 10 to give Jarbo's attorney, Gregory Rohl, more time to gather evidence.

A city ordinance essentially bans keeping domesticated pigeons on private property smaller than eight acres.

"The artificial acre limitation imposed by the new enacted statue is tantamount to an overall exclusion given the fact that there are few if any such properties in Sterling Heights," Rohl said his legal pleading.

Jarbo, 49, who emigrated from Iraq in 1976, said Monday he grew up with pigeons and just wants to keep his flock together.

According to Rohl's legal brief, the local Chaldean community has "long been involved in pigeon racing, having brought this hobby to America from the homeland."

In his complaint, Rohl said his client has a permit for his pigeons and has paid $450 to apply to the Macomb County Racing and Carrying Pigeon Program. 

Jarbo said his birds are kept in a clean area that is strictly maintained.

"I followed every guideline (the city of Sterling Heights) had," he said.

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