Judge rules midnight spring break curfew in Miami Beach stands after 3 nightclubs file complaint against city

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By journalsofus.com

MIAMI BEACH — A court battle was underway Saturday afternoon after three South Beach nightclubs decided to challenge Miami Beach law. newly established midnight curfew take strong action against spring break. Despite his efforts, the judge denied his request.

According to CBS News Miami news partners at The Miami HeraldMiami Beach city spokesperson Melissa Berthier confirmed Saturday that nightclubs M2, Mynt Lounge and Exchange filed a complaint.

The Herald reported that a court hearing was held at the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building in downtown Miami, where City Manager Alina Hudak was on the witness stand and being questioned by Ben Kuehne, who represents the nightclubs.

The judge overseeing the case, David C. Miller, has since denied the request to lift the curfew, saying city officials acted in good faith and had strictly adapted the curfew to allow some businesses.

According to the Herald, Hudak testified that she saw larger crowds and a “noisier atmosphere” among spring breakers Thursday night, leading her to believe a curfew would be necessary. She also said the effectiveness of the curfew was evident Friday night when crowds began to thin out as midnight approached.

“Clearly the crowd chose at some point during the night to go somewhere else,” Hudak said. “It just wasn’t fun.”

The Herald reported that M2, Mynt Lounge and Exchanged filed the complaint around 11:30 p.m. Friday (nearly 30 minutes before midnight curfew) in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, according to a copy of the document obtained by the Herald.

The curfew “unduly punishes and penalizes plaintiffs’ lawful business operations and was carried out without reasonable or appropriate notice and in the absence of good cause,” the complaint states. Additionally, several major club events that had been planned for this weekend will be canceled, the document notes, adding that the venues have collectively welcomed thousands of patrons so far this month “without causing any harm to health.” , the safety and well-being of citizens”. , residents and visitors of Miami Beach,” the Herald reported.

The curfew began Friday night and was scheduled to go into effect every night this weekend through Monday morning, applies to all areas south of 23rd Street and requires businesses to close its doors after midnight.

The legal challenge by the nightclubs seeks to annul the curfew for the rest of the weekend. According to the Herald, Hudak on Friday declared a state of emergency that will last until Monday in order to enact the curfew, and he would need approval from the Miami Beach City Commission if it were extended.

Romain Zago, owner of Mynt Lounge, told the Herald on Friday that he didn’t understand why the city imposed a curfew when other measures appeared to be effective in keeping crowds small and quiet the previous weekend.

“I don’t understand why this week they wouldn’t apply the same system, the same measures,” he told the newspaper. “What happened suddenly today that we have to have a curfew?”

According to the Herald, Mynt is open from midnight to 5 a.m., meaning Miami Beach’s curfew would force the club to be closed all weekend. Zago told the Herald the move would harm his business and his employees. However, Miller also said in his ruling that he did not believe the companies would suffer irreparable harm.

“My entire staff lives paycheck to paycheck. They can’t afford a week off,” he said.

The city, Zago added, is “taking food off our plates.”

Large crowds gathered in South Beach for spring break, especially on Ocean Drive, for spring break, the Herald reported. However the The application of the curfew went without a hitch. and police had nearly cleared the entire strip by 12:15 a.m.

According to the Herald, this is the fourth year in a row that Miami Beach has declared a spring break curfew; However, unlike previous years, the 2024 curfew was imposed despite a Relatively quiet March so far thanks to the city “break up spring break” Campaign.

He third weekend of march Miami Beach has had a troubled past, marked by stampedes, shootings and other incidents involving spring break revelers. City officials had warned residents, visitors and businesses since last year that a curfew was likely to be put in place during spring break this year, the Herald noted.

Peter D’Oench will have more on CBS News Miami tonight at 11 pm on air and online.

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