Earlier this month we linked the story of a Dallas car wash owner whose business was shut down by the city under a nuisance abatement law because it was deemed to attract crime, even though the owner was not alleged to have done anything to further the crime and in fact had called police many times to complain about it.
Last month a Sixth Circuit panel, over a dissent, ruled that the city of Saginaw, Mich. may have violated Rita Johnson’s rights when it shut down her Rita’s Southern Soul Café without first according her a hearing. Johnson had rented out her restaurant one evening to a private party; “For unknown reasons, individuals unaffiliated with her or the party emerged from a vehicle that night and began shooting at the restaurant.” Police surmise that rivalry between gangs might have prompted the attack, but neither perpetrators nor motive were established. The case now goes back for further litigation in which Johnson will be allowed to argue that a hearing before shutting down her café would have been warranted. [Johnson v. Morales via Institute for Justice “Short Circuit”]