Point Pleasant Beach did not violate the civil rights of Martell's and Jenkinson's owners, will not have to repay the bars' legal fees, that stemmed from fighting an ordinance - that has since repealed - that sought to enforce midnight bar closings.
Superior Court Judge Vincent Grasso issued a ruling this week that backed Point Beach's argument that "Martell's claims for civil penalties have become moot," after the ordinance was rescinded last February.
The boardwalk businesses took legal action to stop the ordinance after it was introduced. In their legal action, they alleged that the ordinance was
used as a tool to "extort" money from them since the town had seriously
considered adopting a second ordinance giving bars the option to pay a
fee to stay open later.
In the summer of 2012, officials with the State Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control issued a stay on that ordinance, and town officials later completely rescinded the ordinance. They rescinded the ordinance last February, to "relieve the effects of Sandy" on local businesses, according to findings in the decision from Grasso.
Reached this morning, a lawyer for Martell's, Ron Gasiorowski said they were weighing their options moving forward.
Mayor Vincent Barrella said he would have been surprised if Grasso's decision "had gone any other way."