Southaven restaurant sues city in noise ordinance spat - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Southaven restaurant sues city in noise ordinance spat

Owners of a popular Southaven restaurant are sparring with the city over how late bands can play outdoors. Owners of a popular Southaven restaurant are sparring with the city over how late bands can play outdoors.

(WMC-TV) - Owners of a popular Southaven restaurant are sparring with the city over how late bands can play outdoors.

Owners of the Southaven restaurant Fillin Station Grille have filed a lawsuit against the city of Southaven, Police Chief Tom Long, and four of seven members on the city's Board of Aldermen. The lawsuit stems from a noise ordinance that limits the hours in which the restaurant can have live bands play music outdoors.

"They applied for a permit for extended play for outdoor entertainment and the board denied that based on our ordinance, and I guess this is their way of appeal," Mayor Greg Davis said.

According to Davis, the noise ordinance applies to everyone, and the restaurant is no exception.

"It's been on the books ever since we've been a city," Davis said. "They feel it's unconstitutional, and I guess we'll let a judge decide."

Currently, the cut-off time for outdoor music in Southaven is midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

In a statement, a Fillin Station Grille attorney called Southaven's noise ordinance, "inherently vague and, therefore, unconstitutional."

The statement cites a Mississippi Supreme Court ruling that found another city's noise ordinance to be unconstitutionally vague and therefore void.

Still, Davis says Southaven is not a party city, and thus has no problem fighting the lawsuit.

"We don't want to be known as a bar city," he said. "We're a bedroom community, where people need to get some rest at night. The police chief feels that way, the Board of Aldermen feels that way, and I feel that way, and so that's why the ordinance was put in place.

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