NEW ORLEANS – Owner of the S-Express Food Store claims the City of New Orleans violated Louisiana law when revoking the store’s high content alcohol permit.
S-Express Food Store LLC and Audrey R. Saladino filed suit against the City of New Orleans and the New Orleans Alcohol Beverage Control Board in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Feb. 20.
The plaintiff, Audrey R. Saladino, is the sole owner of the S-Express Food Store, located at 2703 Ursulines St. in New Orleans. From 1983 through 2003, the S-Express was given permission by the City of New Orleans to sell both low content and high content alcohol. However, in 2003, the petitioner decided against renewing the S-Express’ high content liquor license.
In August 2013, the plaintiff succeeded in retaining a high content alcohol permit, and began selling again. In April 2014, this same permit was renewed without any complications. However, on Sept. 17, 2014, the City of New Orleans took action filing a “Nuisance Petition to Suspend or Revoke Permit and/or Sanctions.”
The plaintiff claims inaccurate testimony by neighbors of the S-Express led to the New Orleans Alcohol Beverage Control Board (ABO Board) to render the decision to rescind S-Express’ high content alcohol permit. The plaintiff contends the ABO Board’s decision is in direct violation of the City of New Orleans municipal code.
In addition, the petitioner argues the ABO Board failed to issue a warning letter prior to dispensing the “Nuisance Petition to Suspend or Revoke Permit and/or Sanctions,” in violation of state law.
The plaintiff says that since the S-Express voluntarily chose to not renew its high content liquor license in 2003 that it was up to the City of New Orleans to finalize this decision, which the defendants allegedly failed to do.
The petitioner is seeking a “stay order” to continue selling high content alcohol until the court renders a decision. The plaintiff is also seeking a “preliminary injunction” be issued against the City of New Orleans to halt their interference with S-Express, specifically in selling high content alcohol.
The petitioner is represented by Edward R. Washington III of The Washington Law Group LLC.
The case has been assigned to Div. C Judge Sidney H. Cates IV.
Case no. 2015-01579.