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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ind. Courts - Over a dozen challenges filed in federal court to Indianapolis smoking ban

Jon Murray of the Indianapolis Star writes today in his IndyStar politics blog:

I ran a search of federal court records today, and the total is now up to 13 lawsuits, up three since late last week. (The lawsuits involve 11 bars and one patron — they’re listed below.)

And therein, potentially, lie hurdles for the bars — aside from the history of smoking bans typically holding up in court elsewhere, despite many legal challenges. These bars, instead of banding together in one single case, filed separate cases, using identical fill-in-the-blank lawsuits; in one case, an owner and a manager for the same bar each filed a lawsuit. They all filed the lawsuits without the aid of attorneys, which obviously don’t come cheap. A couple of the lawsuits are hand-written. Some include mention that they plan to request the aid of court-appointed attorneys. (Unlikely in a civil case.)

Also, the city doesn’t appear to have received proper summonses for these cases, despite some of the suits being filed in the first half of May. That would mean an apparent failure by the plaintiffs to notify the named defendants (the Indianapolis mayor’s office and the City-County Council) — a responsibility that falls to them, not the court. A case can’t proceed until all parties are aware of the case.

Murray goes on to list the plaintiffs in the separate cases.

ILB: No, attorneys are not cheap. It is also not that cheap to file a lawsuit in federal court; I believe the fee is $350 ...

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 29, 2012 04:52 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts