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Published: Tuesday, 6/24/2008

Judge grants temporary order halting Toledo s convenience store licensing law

BLADE STAFF

A federal judge sided with a group of convenience store owners Tuesday morning and granted a temporary restraining order against Toledo s new law that licenses the establishments.

U.S. District Judge James Carr granted the motion after three convenience store owners testified against the new law. A full hearing on the matter will be held at a later date.

An alliance of Toledo convenience- store owners decided in April to challenge the city s law, which requires those businesses to be licensed at a cost of $250 a year, install security cameras, and turn over surveillance video to police. Toledo City Council on Dec. 11 approved, by a 9-2 vote, the new requirement for the stores to be licensed.

Scott Ciolek of the Toledo law firm Ciolek & Wicklund said the law is unconstitutional and will force some stores out of business and filed a complaint two months ago in U.S. District Court on behalf of the Midwest Retailers Association, seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction against the ordinance.

At the time of the complaint filing, Mr. Ciolek said the stores being targeted are in poor neighborhoods, "and they are the only ones that serve poor neighborhoods."

He added: "These stores are owned by families, and they don t make a lot of money."



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