Friday, May 30, 2008

Emergency injunction requested on Convenience Store Licensing Law

Yesterday, the Midwest Retailers Association (MWRA) filed a motion asking Federal District Court Judge Carr for an Emergency Injunction against the City of Toledo to prevent the city from enforcing the new 'convenience store' licensing law.

From Scott Ciolek, the attorney for the group:

If Judge Carr decides in favor of the MWRA the City of Toledo will not be able to enforce any aspect of the Convenience Store Licensing Ordinance. It is anticipated that Judge Carr will make a ruling on the Emergency Motion sometime today.

Over the past 3 days uniformed Toledo Police officers have been delivering letters from the Toledo Chief of Police to the owners and operators of Toledo convenience stores. The letter states, among other things, that if the stores fail to submit the applications for the license the store owners will be subject to 30 days in jail.

The motion for the Emergency Injunction is a response to this letter.

According to the temporary restraining motion, the city agreed to not to begin enforcement of the law on May 1 as planned, but to delay the enforcement in the hopes of settling the lawsuit. However, on May 27, uniformed Toledo police officers began delivering letters to convenience stores that detailed the criminal penalties for non-compliance with the law, and the administrative fines for not having camera monitoring systems.

By engaging in the conduct described above, Defendant has manifested clear intent to end settlement negotiations, and proceed with the enforcement of Ordinance 797-07. At the same time, Defendant has requested an extension for more time to respond to MWRA’s motion for preliminary injunction.

The letter does not explain the the law is currently the subject of a lawsuit, nor does it provide a deadline for making the required license application, indicating that failure of immediate compliance will result in criminal prosecution and imposition of substantial administrative fines.

Stay tuned - this is definitely going to get more interesting...

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