STURGIS, S.D. (CN) – The owner of a tattoo parlor sued Sturgis, S.D., claiming he makes most of his annual income during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and the city will unfairly shut him down unless everyone in his shop gets separate licenses.
Richard Otten, manager of Tattoo Cellar, asked the Meade County Court to restrain the city from shutting him down during the famous Sturgis Run, which Otten says “is in full swing.”
Bikers from all over the nation go to Sturgis by the hundreds of thousands every year, to party, show off their hogs, get tattoos and get married. As many as 400,000 bikers flood into the town of less than 7,000. This year’s rally officially runs from Aug. 4 to 10.
After the 2013 rally, Sturgis demanded that each artist at Otten’s tattoo parlor get his own vendor’s and sales tax licenses, Otten says in the complaint.
He claims that the city’s demand is illegal, under the 1970 ruling, The City of Watertown vs. Hagy, which he presented to the city manager.
The city did not follow up on its demand for licenses until July 29 this year, when it threatened to close down Tattoo Cellar just as the bikers began to arrive.
“The Tattoo Cellar derives most of its annual operating income from the work it does directly before, during and directly after the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally,” Otten says in the complaint.
He asked the court to restrain the city from closing Tattoo Cellar during the rally, and to acknowledge that it is “entitled to operate its business without further interference from the City of Sturgis.”
He filed the case pro se.
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