Tavern owners sue city over impending smoking ban

The operators of eight bars, and at least one smoker, have filed federal lawsuits against Indianapolis' smoking ban which goes into effect this Friday.

Indianapolis

The operators of eight bars, and at least one smoker, have filed federal lawsuits against Indianapolis' smoking ban which goes into effect this Friday.

The bar owners, serving as their own attorneys, claim the ban violates the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment secures a citizen’s rights to be secure and the Fourteenth Amendment provides equal protection under the law.

The owners also charge the ban violates other sections of the Constitution by allowing smoking in bars in Lawrence, Speedway and Beech Grove.

Wanda Goodpaster of the Road Dog Saloon claims her bar will go out of business once the ban is in effect.

Mayor Greg Ballard, who held out for some flexibility in the ban to protect private clubs, is not concerned, though.

“A year from now we might worry what the hubbub was all about but it should be pretty smooth on the implementation.

“There’s been a lot of places that were going toward it anyway,” said Ballard. “I think the market was kind of taking care of it. We just kind of executed where the market was going to.”

The lawsuit claims the City-County Council ignored the health concerns of employees of private clubs where smoking will be permitted.

The bar owners are asking the federal court to issue a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction to halt the ban until further legal proceedings are heard.
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