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State’s Smoking Ban Upheld

 

PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley confirms that Second Circuit Court Judge John Pekas has granted the State’s Motion for Summary Judgement in Rick Law and Intrepid Ventures Operations, LLC, World Wide Holdings, Inc. and Interactive Holdings, Inc. v. State of South Dakota.

 

In 2009, the South Dakota Legislature passed a bill banning smoking in nearly all public places.  This ban included locations selling alcohol, including video lottery establishments.  Petitions were filed to place the smoking ban on the statewide ballot for the 2010 general election.  The smoking ban was overwhelming supported by South Dakota voters, receiving 204,160 votes for and 113,011 against.

 

In 2011, the Plaintiffs in Law v. State, who are involved in video lottery operations, filed a lawsuit alleging that the smoking ban violated the South Dakota State Constitution.  The Complaint was later amended to include allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and to allege that the smoking ban resulted in a regulatory taking or damaging of Plaintiffs’ property for which compensation was due.

 

The State moved for summary judgment on all of Plaintiffs’ claims.  Circuit Court Judge Pekas, in a Memorandum and Order, agreed with the State that no issues of material fact were present and that the State was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.  Notably, the Court found that the exemptions contained in the smoking ban were not “an unconstitutional exclusive privilege” and that the smoking ban “has not interfered with Plaintiffs’ reasonable investment-backed expectations.”

 

Plaintiffs have the opportunity to appeal the circuit court’s decision to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

 

 

 

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