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Judge denies restraining order request by Utah vape shops over new law

Posted at 11:24 AM, Jun 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-29 19:46:26-04

SALT LAKE CITY  — A federal judge has denied a request by a number of vape shops to block a new state law from going into effect.

In an order handed down on Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Howard Nielson, Jr. denied a request for a temporary restraining order. The Utah Attorney General's Office said the decision means a 2021 state law prohibiting vape shops from being within 1,000 feet of schools can go into effect.

The vape shops sued Governor Spencer Cox and the Utah Department of Health & Human Services over the law, passed by the legislature. In his ruling, Judge Nielson said the shops suggested the vape shops could still prevail down the road or pursue claims in state court. If they do, then they might be entitled to damages as a result of lost income.

"Here, Plaintiffs can obtain just compensation through this Section 1983 action from the cities and counties who enforce the challenged law against them if Plaintiffs can establish these entities’ liability for a regulatory taking," he wrote.

The Utah Department of Health & Human Services did not immediately have a comment on the ruling.