R.I. state Supreme Court grants Ballard’s emergency motion to keep entertainment license, with conditions – The Boston Globe - STRATEGIES TO EARN MONEY

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R.I. state Supreme Court grants Ballard’s emergency motion to keep entertainment license, with conditions – The Boston Globe

Live entertainers cannot perform at Ballard’s Inn, the resort cannot do any paid advertising for any music to be offered for the remainder of the season, and they must have at least four security guards on weekdays and seven on weekends who will wear identifiable “security clothing.”

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Ballard’s must also coordinate with the town of New Shoreham to provide “appropriate crowd control and sufficient security.”

The emergency motion to stay was filed Thursday,and Debra Saunders, the clerk of the state Supreme Court, entered the motion on Friday.

After a show-cause hearing on Aug. 22, the town’s Board of License Commissioners — made up of the members of the New Shoreham Town Council — voted unanimously to suspend Ballard’s Beach Resort’s liquor and entertainment licenses for two weeks after brawls broke out there during a music festival on Aug. 8, and on the Block Island Ferry later that same night. Ballard’s on Wednesday won their appeal with the state and had their liquor license restored.

In Friday’s motion, Filippi’s attorney, Brian LaPlante, wrote that outdoor music is “integral” to Ballard’s outside beach and entertainment experience. He said that large crowds at a reggae fest on Aug. 8 were “anomalous” and that by Labor Day, “children and college-age students have returned to school and adult summer vacations have overwhelmingly already been taken.”

Steve Filippi (L) owner of Ballard’s Beach Resort sits with one of his attorney’s inside town hall during a town council show-cause hearing for the resort in New Shoreham, Rhode Island on Block Island on August 22, 2022. The resort is facing a show-cause hearing following multiple alleged incidents of fighting, sexual assault and underage drinking. (Matthew Healey for The Boston Globe)Matthew Healey for The Boston Globe

Ballard’s has no more festivals scheduled for the remainder of the season. However, the resort’s Facebook page still lists two live music events: Sean Rivers on Saturday and Fred Krug on Monday. It listed “house music” from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday.

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LaPlante wrote that granting the stay would permit Ballard’s to play recorded music over its outdoor speakers, something he said was “essential” to the public’s experience at Ballard’s and the company’s more than 100 employees’ ability to earn income for during the remaining weeks of the “weather dependent season.”

James Callaghan, New Shoreham town solicitor and attorney at Callaghan and Callaghan law firm in North Kingstown, filed an objection to the stay.

“Pursuant to the standard set forth in Harsch, Petitioner is unable to make a ‘strong showing of the relevant elements required for a stay and its request for a stay should be denied by this Court,” he wrote. “A stay will not issue unless the party seeking the stay makes a ‘strong showing’ that: (1) it will prevail on the merits of its appeal; (2) it will suffer irreparable harm if the stay is not granted; (3) no substantial harm will come to other interested parties; and (4) a stay will not harm the public interest.”

Callaghan said the melee at the festival was corroborated by witness testimony and that was legal evidence alone to support the Board of License Commissioners’ suspension of their licenses on Aug. 22. He said Filippi’s testimony at the show-cause hearing did not explain why so many people were at the festival, that it grew without actively advertising, and that there were “too many” people there.

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“Petitioner argues there is no harm to the public while just days ago, he testified to having little to no control over the amount of people that swarmed Block Island in response to his event,” Callaghan wrote.

Callaghan agreed that Ballard’s is likely to suffer economically, but that it “pales in comparison to the potential risk to the health, safety, and welfare of the community if a stay is granted.”


Carlos Muñoz can be reached at carlos.munoz@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @ReadCarlos and on Instagram @Carlosbrknews.



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