The City of Carmel was granted a permanent injunction against the Double Apple Lounge from Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge Paul Felix this afternoon. The City was represented by Assistant City Attorney Ashley M. Ulbricht and outside counsel Libby Roberts of Roberts Legal Group, LLC.
At the beginning of the hearing, defendants failed to appear, so the City proceeded with their case. The City’s first witness was Indiana State Excise Police Officer Steven Toleos, who stated that in July of 2011, he first became aware of issues at the Double Apple Lounge when a complaint was filed for the establishment having a person less than 10 years old in the bar. Officer Toleos had provided notice to the owners at that time that no one under 21 should ever be permitted in the bar. Then, in January 2012, the bar was cited for allowing 10 minors in the bar. In May of 2012, 17 minors were found in the bar and the manager and bartender were under 21 as well.
No further testimony was given because at this point in the proceedings, defendants Miguel Angel Sarria and Gladys Bonita entered the courtroom and indicated to the court that they had no objection to the entering of not only a temporary, but permanent injunction against them and the Double Apple Lounge. Defendant Reba Bentz never appeared. The city was prepared to call two additional witnesses, but it was unnecessary to do so.
The permanent injunction prohibits the Double Apple Lounge from every operating again in the city of Carmel. The alcohol permit is issued to the Double Apple; the defendants would have to apply for a new alcohol permit if they wanted to open another establishment.
“It is unlikely that the state would grant Sarria and Bonita another alcohol permit, so I am very pleased that we have eliminated this type of unacceptable business practice. I hope we have made it clear that we will not tolerate this type of establishment in the city of Carmel,” said City Attorney Douglas Haney.
“I wanted to send a strong message that we will take quick action when bar owners are clearly and continually allowing underage drinking. Their actions not only violated the law but the standards that the people of Carmel want in their community,” said Mayor Jim Brainard.