17 news has learned the California Supreme Court will hear a civil case over local Internet cafes. In March, a Fresno appeals court sided with the county, allowed the Kern County District Attorney's office to issue a cease and desist order, stopping all gaming activity. Bill Slocumb, the Bakersfield attorney who represents "the I-zone", says it's rare the state supreme court would hear a civil case, but this one has more than just a local impact. "Yesterday the ruling came down from the California Supreme Court that they've agreed to decide this case which would potentially have statewide impact and perhaps, we're hoping set straight the interpretation of the local superior court and the district attorney's office. So as for right now there is no controlling ruling anywhere making Internet cafes illegal as we read the law."
These civil lawsuits began in 2012, when the district attorney's office filed suits against the cafes. A Kern County Superior Court judge agreed, saying they provided illegal gambling. Then, attorneys for cafes appealed.
We contacted Deputy District Attorney Greg Pulskamp, who gave us this statement: "We have mixed feelings on the matter. We were very pleased with the results from the rulings in the trial courts and the appellate court, however this is really an opportunity to prevail at an even higher level. If we are successful then there's no greater state authority than the California Supreme Court on this issue."
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