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N.C. Court of Appeals Reverses Trial Court on Smoking Ban Ruling PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 20 March 2012 09:25

RALEIGH, SGRToday.com - The North Carolina Court of Appeals has reversed a trial court ruling and sided with Pitt County over its enforcement of the state's smoking ban against a for-profit private club. 

The case dates back to 2010 actions by the Pitt County Health Department against local establishments Club 519, 5th Street Distillery, and Mac Billiards. 
The owners claimed they weren't subject to the law under the law's exemption for private clubs. Pitt County District Court Judge G. Galen Braddy ruled in the owners' favor, entering an order concluding that application of the certain sections of the law “are in violation of the Equal Protection Clauses of both the United States and the North Carolina Constitutions and are therefore unconstitutional and unenforceable against Petitioners only.”
The Court of Appeals disagreed. "Accordingly," states the Appeal Court ruling, "we conclude that the smoking ban’s private club exception does not irrationally classify the establishments, and that the Board of Health’s enforcement of the North Carolina smoking ban against Petitioners does not violate Petitioners’ constitutional right to equal protection.Therefore, we hold that the trial court erred in declaring the challenged section of the North Carolina smoking ban unconstitutional."
The opinion concludes: "The decision of the trial court is reversed." 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 09:26
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