WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – The owners of a Washington, D.C. property that currently houses a gas station alleges that a law in the District of Columbia violates two constitutional amendments.

Petworth Holdings LLC and John C. Formant filed a complaint on Jan. 2 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Attorney General for the District of Columbia Karl A. Racine, Director of the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment Tommy Wells and The District of Columbia Gas Station Advisory Board seeking declaratory relief.

According to the complaint, Petworth leases a Washington, D.C. property to DAG Petroleum Supplies, which operates a Shell gas station there. The plaintiffs allege that the New Columbia Statehood Initiative Omnibus Boards and Commission Reform Amendment Act of 2014 made changes to the D.C. Code that requires "any operator of a full-service retail service station to continue to use its property only to operate a full-service retail service station and to work at or cause the full-service retail station to be operated forever," the suit states.

The plaintiffs allege the Act has hindered their efforts to sell the property and that the Act and law "acts as a regulatory taking of plaintiffs' property" in violation of the Fifth Amendment. They also allege it violates the 13th Amendment.

The plaintiffs seek declaration that the code violates the Fifth and 13th Amendments and injunction barring the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment from enforcing penalty provision. They are represented by Benjamin G. Chew and Rory E. Adams of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP in Washington, D.C.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia case number 1:18-cv-00003-JEB

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