Lexra, Inc., et al v. City of Deerfield Beach, Florida, No. 13-14047 (11th Cir. 2016)

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This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on November 18, 2014.

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Case: 15-10686 Date Filed: 07/01/2016 Page: 1 of 4 [DO NOT PUBLISH] IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT ________________________ No. 15-10686 ________________________ D.C. Docket No. 0:12-cv-61928-WPD LEXRA, INC., d.b.a El Reventon, PORTHOLE PUB, INC., d.b.a Porthole, JSPC, INC., d.b.a Dr. Philgoods, TROPICANTE PRODUCTS, INC., d.b.a Tropicante, Plaintiffs - Appellants, versus CITY OF DEERFIELD BEACH, FLORIDA, a Florida Municipal Corporation, Defendant - Appellee. ________________________ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida ________________________ (July 1, 2016) Case: 15-10686 Date Filed: 07/01/2016 Page: 2 of 4 Before JORDAN, ROSENBAUM, and SILER, * Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: Following a review of the record, and with the benefit of oral argument, we affirm the district court’s dismissal of the action on mootness grounds. Simply stated, the factual basis for the plaintiffs’ equal protection claim—that All Stars Sports Bar was permitted to stay open until 4:00 a.m.—disappeared when All Stars closed. Given that All Stars has closed, and is therefore no longer operating past 2:00 a.m., the case is moot because we can “no longer give [the plaintiffs] meaningful relief.” Jews for Jesus v. Hillsborough Cnty. Aviation Auth., 162 F.3d 627, 628 (11th Cir. 1998). Cf. City News & Novelty, Inc. v. City of Waukesha, 531 U.S. 278, 283–86 (2001) (dismissing case on mootness grounds when the business suing the city ceased operations, and as a result the relief it sought could no longer be granted). Although the City’s voluntary decision to evenly apply the ordinance at issue does not necessarily moot the case, dismissal is appropriate “in the absence of some reasonable basis to believe that the policy will be reinstated if the suit is terminated.” Doe v. Wooten, 747 F.3d 1317, 1322 (11th Cir. 2014) (quoting Troiano v. Supervisor of Elections, 382 F.3d 1276, 1285 (11th Cir. 2004)). Here, no such reasonable basis exists. The City attempted to enforce the ordinance * The Honorable Eugene Siler Jr., United States Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit, sitting by designation. 2 Case: 15-10686 Date Filed: 07/01/2016 Page: 3 of 4 against All Stars in 2004, but it was prevented from doing so by a state court order. All Stars is no longer in business and the City has affirmatively represented that it will now enforce the pre-4:00 a.m. closing times to all its bars and restaurants. Taken together, these circumstances show that the city has a longstanding desire to enforce the ordinance equally, and, since the closing of All Stars, it has the ability to do so. The plaintiffs argue that the state court order would allow any bar that opens in the same location to stay open until 4:00 a.m., but this position lacks merit. Only All Stars’ owner was a party to the case. And, while the state court found that representations by the City’s former manager to the property owner created an implied-in-fact contract allowing All Stars’ owner to serve alcohol until 4:00 a.m., any such representation applied by its terms only to existing businesses. Moreover, on the record before the district court, All Stars cannot reasonably be expected to reopen with a 4:00 a.m. last call. All Stars’ liquor license had not expired at the time the district court rendered its decision, but it was in the process of being transferred. The plaintiffs have presented no convincing argument that the transferee would be able to serve alcohol outside the hours the ordinance permits. We deny the parties’ motions to supplement the record on appeal because the district court’s order allows the plaintiffs to file suit again if the City allows any 3 Case: 15-10686 Date Filed: 07/01/2016 Page: 4 of 4 businesses to remain open and serve alcohol after 2:00 a.m. We also deny the City’s motion to strike. AFFIRMED. 4