Amicus Brief

Michigan Restaurant Association v City of Marquette

Case Year: 1999
Case Forum: Michigan Court of Appeals
Keywords: Michigan Constitution, public health, Home Rule City Act (HRCA), smoking, ordinance
Amicus Counsel:

Peter Armstrong (P10255)
Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlett, LLP
Bridgewater Place
333 Bridge Street, N.W., P.O. Box 352
Grand Rapids, MI 49501-0352


This case is about the powers of home rule cities because the trial court failed to observe and follow the constitutional mandate of liberal construction in favor of cities; and this case
is about harm from second hand smoke and the public health considerations of curtailment of smoking in restaurants, which are central to a determination of the intent of the Legislature.
Appellees’ position stands the legislation and the intent ofthe Legislature on its head by assuming that the statute was designed to enable and protect smoking in food establishments.


This case involves an amendment of a Marquette city ordinance. The amendment placed a total ban on smoking in restaurants. Plaintiffs argued that the amendment was in conflict with a state statute governing nonsmoking seating in food service establishments and sought to regulate an area already preempted by state law. The trial court agreed and granted summary disposition in favor of plaintiffs under MCR 2.116 (C)(10). Defendant appeals as of right. We affirm.

MSC requested LDF amicus brief? No

The City of Marquette is a Michigan Home Rule City, granted power by Michigan to “adopt resolutions and ordinances relating to its municipal concerns, property and government.”
Const 1963, art 7, § 22. The Michigan Restaurant Association is a trade association that represents many Michigan restaurant owners, including owners in the City of Marquette. Team Landmark, Inc., Marquette Mountain Food and Beverage Corporation, Park Third, Inc., and Starburst Corpotation
are restaurant owners in the City of Marquette. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is an organization that represents Michigan businesses, local chambers of commerce, and trade and professional associations.
In 1997, the City of Marquette enacted amendments to its smoking ordinance requiring 100% of restaurant seating to be non-smoking by January 1, 1999, excluding cocktail lounges,
taverns, and bars. See Title IV, Chapter 35, §§ 35.02(8), 35.05(2). Appellees contend that the ordinance is preempted by a state statute which requires a minimum number of non-smoking seats in food service establishments, but does not prohibit the designation of a smoking area.

Case Number: 1998-14
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