LANGUAGE

Goodpaster et al. v. City of Indianapolis

In 2012 the City of Indianapolis and Marion County expanded a local smoking ordinance to include bars and taverns. A number of bar owners sued, seeking a preliminary and a permanent injunction to prohibit the ordinance from taking effect. The bar owners claimed that the ordinance violated their rights to due process, freedom of association, and equal protection and constituted a taking under the federal and state Constitutions. The court found that all of the bar owners’ claims failed. The court ruled that the ordinance did not violate due process or equal protection because the city had at least three rational reasons for adopting the ordinance: (1) to protect the health and safety of the general public; (2) to abate the nuisance effects of secondhand smoke; and (3) to positively impact the city’s economy by decreasing healthcare costs and increasing tourism. Additionally, the court found that the ordinance did not violate the freedom of association because it regulates conduct (i.e., smoking) not who is allowed to enter the bars. Finally, the ordinance did not constitute an unconstitutional taking because even though the bars have lost business they have not lost all economically beneficial use of their property. As a result, the court denied both the preliminary and permanent injunctions.