Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Goldwater Institute: City of Tempe Asks for "Do Over" in Tattoo Studio Case

City says it was unprepared during first court hearing and wants another chance
Phoenix--The City of Tempe has filed a motion asking Judge Robert Oberbillig to give it another chance to make its case in the lawsuit filed by the Goldwater Institute on behalf of two tattoo studio entrepreneurs.

In October 2007 Tom and Elizabeth Preston had their business permit revoked by the Tempe City Council based on the "perception" that their business might attract crime to a Tempe shopping center. After almost two years in litigation, the Prestons finally had their day in court, and justice prevailed: Judge Oberbillig ruled that Tempe had no right to revoke the Preston's permit.

But instead of following the judge's orders, Tempe wants a second chance to argue its case. Not for any good reason, but because the City says it was unprepared at the first hearing, admitting in its motion that it was asked for previous cases supporting the City's position and it had none, but that it has since found some cases.

"This motion for reconsideration is outrageous," says Clint Bolick, director of the Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation and attorney for the Prestons. "Tempe says it wasn't prepared the first time we went to court and now the City wants to make legal arguments it failed to make the first time."

Judge Oberbillig has set a July 6, 2009 hearing date to rule on the motion for reconsideration.

"The only reconsideration that needs to happen in this case is on the Tempe Council's part," continued Bolick. "They have had ample opportunity to reconsider the stereotypes upon which they based their discriminatory action against the Prestons. It's time for Tempe to let them open their business."

To learn more about Preston v. Hallman visit The Goldwater Institute is a nonprofit public policy research and litigation organization whose work is made possible by the generosity of its supporters.

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