The Jerusalem District Court set a precedent on Monday when it rejected the
appeal of the owners of the Ha’uman 17 night club who failed to enforce
no-smoking laws on their premises. The action was initiated by the Jerusalem
Municipality, which will receive the money from the defendants.
was increased to NIS 15,000 by the court, which sat as a criminal appeals court.
The court decided to fine the owners NIS 7,500 for each of two violations
instead of the NIS 5,000-apiece fine that the city inspectors originally gave
In early 2010, city inspectors fined the club owners twice on
different dates after they caught them ignoring a law that requires premise
owners to enforce no-smoking laws and prevent illegal tobacco use. One of the
owners denied the charges and told the local court that he took “reasonable
measures to prevent smoking in his club.”
During the court hearing, city
inspectors testified that dozens of people smoked in the club and that the
guards allowed people to enter the premises with lit cigarettes in their hands.
Barmen continued to serve smoking customers without voicing any objection, the
In the lower court, Judge Sharon Lari-Bavli had
convicted the club owners after accepting the inspectors’ testimony and decided
to increase the size of the fines beyond the original amount. The owners
In the district court, Judge Yoram Noam rejected the appeal and
approved the NIS 15,000 fine. He noted that even the defendants did not deny
that customers continued to smoke in violation of the law.
Kira Lerner of
the municipality’s legal department, who represented the city through the whole
process, said that the judgement “was important and precedent setting – the
first of its kind by an Israeli court relating to responsibility for enforcing
no-smoking laws in public places.”
The municipality stressed that it will
continue to enforce no-smoking laws against owners who don’t ensure their
premises are smoke-free – as part of its “revolution turning Jerusalem into a
city free of tobacco smoke in public places.”