Arlington, Va.—Today, Pinal County’s Board of Supervisors ruled that Dale Bell violated the county’s zoning ordinance banning outdoor dancing. The board also imposed a $700-per-day fine if anyone dares to dance outdoors at the family restaurant. Bell and the Institute for Justice announced immediately after the hearing that they will appeal this decision, which was a foregone conclusion. The vote to uphold the dance ban was cast immediately after the Institute for Justice finished its defense of Dale.
The Institute for Justice will now take Dale’s case to the Pinal County Superior Court and, if need be, to the Arizona Supreme Court to defend the entrepreneur’s right to earn an honest living.
“It is clear that the county is using this phony dance issue to try to control the way Dale operates his business; these are government busybodies in action,” said Tim Keller, executive director of the Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter. “Nothing the county has trumped up against Dale stands up to public scrutiny. The county supervisors clearly have a grudge against Dale and are willing to go to any length to shut him down. The Institute for Justice will do everything we can to stop these unfounded fines that could tally as much as $200,000 a year and put an end to this continued harassment. Dale wants nothing more than to just be left alone to peacefully operate his business.”
“Forcing Dale and his son and business partner, Spencer, to act as the dance police is not only making Pinal County a national laughingstock, it is unconstitutional,” explained Jennifer Perkins, an Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter staff attorney. “The Board of Supervisors today had the opportunity to do the right thing by overturning the hearing officer’s ridiculous decision and rejecting the county’s interference with Dale’s economic liberty, but it chose to go along with the continued injustice. IJ and Dale are ready, willing and able to continue this fight against grassroots tyranny.”