SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Springfield's ban on smoking in most public places survived another legal challenge. The Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, issued a ruling on Tuesday that upholds the ordinance, which voters approved twice in two years.
The lawsuit against the smoking ban was filed last year by the owner of Ruthie's bar on Commercial Street after voters approved the law in April. Greene County Associate Circuit Judge Jason Brown upheld the law, based mostly on a ruling on a similar challenge to Kansas City's smoking ban by the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, in Kansas City.
Ruthie's appealed Brown's ruling, and a three-judge panel of the Southern District appeals court heard oral arguments on the case this month. The panel issued its ruling on Tuesday and agreed with Brown and the Western District Court of Appeals.
The appeals court ruling says the city ordinance does not violate state law. The attorney for Ruthie's owner contended the city ordinance conflicts with a state law that lets a bar post signs telling patrons that it does not have nonsmoking areas.