Summary Judgment Hearing Held Last Week in Casper Smoking Ban Case
Keep Casper Smoke Free says attorneys with the anti-smoking group, which is trying to overturn a partial repeal of the city of Casper's public indoor smoking ban, met with city attorneys for a summary judgment hearing last week.
“Both sides made motions to the judge basically saying that this really doesn’t need to go to trial,” Keep Casper Smoke Free co-chair Kimberly Holloway said on Wednesday. “The judge can make a decision either in our favor, which we’re hopeful for, or the city’s favor.”
Holloway says the judge overseeing the case is still considering the arguments made by both sides during the hearing. If the judge rejects both arguments, the matter will go to trial later this year.
“The only difference, if we actually went to a trial, is that we’d be able to call witnesses, therefore, our signers of our petition would possibly be called to the stand, and (Casper city clerk V.H. McDonald) might be asked to testify,” Holloway said.
“My lawyer seems to think the judge wants to avoid that,” Holloway said.
Keep Casper Smoke Free is trying to force a special election on changes made to the city’s smoking ban that permitted smoking again in Casper bars, private clubs and healthcare facilities. Prior to the partial repeal, a full-scale ban had been in place for about a year.
The anti-smoking group claims it gathered nearly 3,000 signatures during a referendum petition drive. They maintain that roughly 90 signatures were illegally rejected by McDonald during the official tally.
Officially, the group fell 61 signatures short of its goal.