Phoenix--Superior Court Judge Robert Oberbillig ruled today that the City of Tempe's revocation of Tom and Elizabeth Preston's business permit, based on the perception that their tattoo studio might attract crime, was "arbitrary and capricious" and ordered the City to immediately reinstate the couple's permit and allow them to open their business.
After almost two years in litigation, the Prestons finally had their day in court on May 11, 2009 and justice prevailed: Judge Oberbillig ruled that Tempe had no right to revoke the Preston's permit. But instead of adhering to that ruling, the City of Tempe filed a motion asking the judge to give it another chance to make its case, effectively asking for a "do-over."
"It's the Prestons 1, Tyranny 0," declared Clint Bolick, litigation director for the Goldwater Institute. "This decision elevates the rule of law over political whim."
Bolick urged the City to give up the fight. "Not only have the Prestons lost precious business opportunities for two years and counting, but the taxpayers are paying for this legal battle and losing tax revenues."
The City of Tempe has 30 days to appeal the ruling.
Preston v. Hallman was filed by the Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation. For more information about this or any other Goldwater Institute lawsuit to protect individual rights and keep government within its constitutional limits, please visit http://goldwaterinstitute.org/litigation. The Goldwater Institute is a nonprofit public policy research and litigation organization whose work is made possible by the generosity of its supporters.