Broadway bar owners file joint lawsuit against city and state leaders

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Friday, News 2 obtained documentation of a lawsuit filed in United States District Court that joins two Broadway establishments and its respective managing partner in an ongoing lawsuit against the city and state.

The lawsuit lists Kid Rock’s, Honky Tonk Central, and their managing partner Timothy Stephen Smith as additional plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed back in May by The Local Spot and its owner Geoffrey Reid.

The named plaintiffs are seeking financial compensation for lost revenue during local and state-mandated Stay-At-Home orders.

Defendants are named as Governor Bill lee, Mayor John Cooper, Director of the Metro Public Health Department Michael Caldwell, Metro’s Beer Permit Board and Kia Jarmon, a member of the Beer Permit Board.

The lawsuit alleges that the businesses have been specifically targeted by Director Caldwell and Mayor Cooper and have received unfair treatment in comparison to protestors during recent demonstrations.

The lawsuit further alleges that establishments have also received unequal treatment from Metro’s Beer Permit Board and it’s member, Kia Jarmon.

Last week the Board voted to suspend licenses for four Nashville bars including, Kid Rock’s Honky Tonk.

On June 13, Kid Rock’s Honky Tonk was one of 13 businesses that were issued citations from the Metro Public Health Department for not following social distancing guidelines from Emergency Orders 4 or 6.

The lawsuit also asks a judge to place Davidson County under the jurisdiction of Governor Bill Lee’s Tennessee Pledge instead of Mayor Cooper’s current plan.

Nashville-based attorney Bryan Lewis, is representing three of the plaintiffs (Honky Tonk Central, Kid Rock’s and Timothy Stephen Smith) and told News 2 that he will be filing a temporary restraining order against the continued enforcement of Metro’s Orders against his clients.

“We believe we would receive fair treatment under Governor Lee’s phases and there wouldn’t be this selective type prosecution that my client has endured for the past couple of weeks.” said Lewis.

He added that he will be filing a restraining order against three pending citations that were issued for Kid Rock’s and Honky Tonk Central.

Lewis told News 2 that the lawsuit’s four affidavits affirm that the plaintiffs have been victims of selective prosecution in enforcement of COVID19 health ordinances.

“We have very very strong proof to show that Mr. Smith and that both Kid Rock’s and Honky Tonk Central have been selectively prosecuted in this matter.”

The lawsuit has a total of four affidavits, their deponents range from general managers to security personnel.

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