Second Tahoe beach access lawsuit filed

INCLINE VILLAGE - For the second time this week the Incline Village General Improvement District is being named as a defendant in a lawsuit dealing with the district's beach access policy.

Crystal Bay resident Frank Wright filed a federal lawsuit with the U.S. District Court Monday that challenges IVGID's recreation pass and punch card ordinance (Ordinance No. 7) and the restrictive covenant listed in the original 1968 beach deed, saying IVGID's use of both guidelines violates his rights, namely the First and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

"The reasons and the merits behind (the lawsuit) are pretty well stated out," Wright said. "It's just time to put an end to this. Enough is enough. I've tried to do it other ways; now I'm doing it this way."

Monday's federal suit comes a week after Crystal Bay resident Steven Kroll filed a state lawsuit with Nevada's 1st District Court, which names IVGID, as well as individual IVGID Board of Trustees members Bea Epstein, Gene Brockman, Chuck Weinberger, Bob Wolf and John Bohn, as six of the 26 defendants named in the lawsuit. The other 20 defendants are labeled as "Doe" defendants.

In Wright's federal lawsuit, he names IVGID, as well as inclusive number of "Does," as defendants. In it, Wright argues that by being one of the 427 IVGID parcels denied access to Burnt Cedar, Incline and Ski beaches, his rights to free speech, assembly and association are being violated. Wright further argues IVGID's ordinance operates as a "prior restraint on speech, intimidating plaintiff (Wright) from exercising his protected activities on the IVGID beaches and chilling his protected activities."

Furthermore, Wright argues that Ordinance No. 7 violates his "equal protection rights by treating him differently from 'residents' of parcels which were within the confines of IVGID as it was constituted in 1968." He argues this violation is contempt of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

IVGID General Manager Bill Horn, said he wouldn't comment until reading the suit.

E. Scott Brooke, legal counsel for IVGID, could not be reached from comment.

Daniel T. Hayward, an attorney with Reno-based Laxalt and Nomura, Ltd., is one of Wright's attorneys in the suit. He said the suit hopefully would be served to IVGID by the end of the day Thursday.

According to the court, 60 days to respond are given to defendants that are deemed a U.S. entity, while 20 days are given to non-U.S. entities.

Hayward said his team will work with IVGID over the next few days to determine which deadline IVGID should have.

Whenever that deadline occurs, a defendant usually either files a response to the lawsuit, or a motion to oppose the suit. If the suit cannot be resolved by both parties, it is possible for the case to go to trial in the future, Hayward said.


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