N. Ind. builder sues Weis over copyright charge
A lawsuit alleges former Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis,
his wife and a homebuilder violated copyright laws in constructing
a house for developmentally disabled adults for a charity started
by the couple.
Garden Homes by E.L. filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in
South Bend on March 18 alleging that Charlie and Maura Weis and
Rans Custom Homes violated copyright laws in building a third home
at the Hannah and Friends Farm. Garden Homes, which is based in
South Bend, contends it designed and built the first two homes on
the 30-acre facility and obtained copyrights for those designs.
Garden Homes alleges the Weises intentionally violated copyright
laws by giving Rans its design plans and directing it to make
alterations to avoid the appearance of a copyright violation.
Weis, now the offensive coordinator at Florida, declined
comment, school spokesman Steve McClain said. Jeffrey Stesiak, a
lawyer for the Weises, also declined comment, saying he was
reviewing the lawsuit.
Charlie and Maura Weis told the South Bend Tribune in a story
published Tuesday that they found it “incomprehensible” that a
builder would sue another builder who is building a home for people
with special needs. They also said they found it peculiar that the
lawsuit was filed against them personally rather than their
A message seeking comment was left Tuesday by The Associated
Press for Ryan Rans of Custom Homes. He told the South Bend Tribune
the lawsuit is without merit.
Garden Homes contends it helped develop the land and built the
main lodge for the farm. Plans called for the site to have 16 homes
for developmentally disabled adults. Garden Homes designed and
built the first two homes, the lawsuit says. Garden Homes contends
its plans were used for the new construction, for the electrical
and other contract bids and for the overall exterior and interior
designs for the third house.
Weis was fired in 2009 after five seasons as Notre Dame coach,
posting a 35-27 record. He was the offensive coordinator for the
Kansas City Chiefs last season before taking the job at
The Weis family started Hannah and Friends to try to improve the
quality of life for those with special needs. Their 15-year-old
daughter Hannah has global development delay, a form of mental