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Moving state-created roadblocks to free enterprise
Bruner v. Zawacki, et. al.
Contact: Timothy Sandefur
Status: Complaint filed in the Eastern District of Kentucky, on August 21, 2012. The court denied the Defendants' motion to dismiss on Feb. 25, 2013. The parties are undergoing discovery.
R.J. Bruner entered the moving business in 2010 after working at a Lexington chemical plant to put himself through the MBA program at the University of Kentucky. His business, Wildcat Movers, headquartered in Lexington, started by advertising on craigslist.com, and now operates four trucks and employs 31 people.
But then, Bruner was sideswiped by a state law that restricts competition and robust free enterprise in the moving business. This law requires moving businesses to obtain a “Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity” — and allows the state’s existing moving companies an opportunity to object to the issuance of any new certificate. When an objection is filed, the applicant must prove there is a “public need” for a new moving company. Yet the law doesn’t define “public need.”
PLF is representing Bruner in challenging this law because it is designed solely to protect established firms against legitimate competition from start-up entrepreneurs. This law does not protect the general public at all.
PLF’s involvement follows up on our successful challenges to similar cartel laws for the moving business in Oregon and Missouri. In both those states, PLF’s lawsuits prompted legislators to repeal the laws.