Restaurant owner files legal action against Farmville over food truck order

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) – Mark Shirley, the owner of the “Ole ‘Time Smokehouse” food truck, operates in Farmville.

He expressed his displeasure with a new food truck ordinance at a Farmville city council meeting in April. Now he is taking legal action.

Billy Strickland is his lawyer.

“It was just a shock and disbelief that they had such protectionism to prevent my client from earning a living,” Strickland said.

Before the ordinance went into effect in April, Farmville food truck owners paid an operating fee of $ 50 and an annual fee of $ 100. Now they have to pay an operating fee of $ 125 with no annual fee.

Shirley claims the ordinance violates her constitutional rights. He hired Pacific Legal Foundation lawyer Jessica Thompson to help him with his lawsuit. Thompson drove from Washington DC to Greenville to represent Shirley at the Pitt County Courthouse.

“By placing these arbitrary restrictions on Mark’s business, they violate his right to earn a living. They also violate its equal protection clause in North Carolina’s constitution by placing arbitrary restrictions on its food truck business that serves lunch, while failing to place those same restrictions on the brick-and-mortar restaurants that serve the lunch. breakfast. “

Farmville City Council attorney Christopher Edwards said the food truck order was legal. He also revealed that the town had not received as many complaints about it as those from Shirley.

“I will say that like every other municipality that I know of, the town of Farmville has bylaws on commercial food vendors and food vendors and food trucks and the town believes that the bylaws it has passed are perfectly legal. There are other food vendors who regularly do business in town. Therefore, we believe this shows that the order is not as blatant as Mr. Shirley would claim.

Farmville City Council has 30 days to respond to Mark Shirley’s complaint.

Copyright 2021 WITN. All rights reserved.

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