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DULUTH - The city of Duluth has asked a St. Louis County judge to require that Last Place on Earth close down for a year or follows other rules to correct public nuisances in a lawsuit filed Thursday.
The city alleges the business's owner, Jim Carlson, did not correct the nuisances stemming from his shop after a notice given to him in August.
"The community really is at its wits end," Duluth City Attorney Gunnar Johnson said.
The city will be using an Aug. 28 surveillance tape outside the store as a piece of evidence in the case.
The tape shows customers heading out and pushing a man into the road.
They then head back and pull him toward the curb before leaving the scene.
The city said the video shows exactly what happens near the business and the city resources that have to respond.
However, Carlson's attorney said he was not worried about when the case heads to court and that it has no legal basis because the city has not proved any of his products are illegal.
"I think any attorney who brought it ought to be ashamed of themselves," Carlson's attorney Randall Tigue said. "[Carlson] can't conceivably abate the nuisance as the city of Duluth insists on keeping the lab results on what he's sold secret."
"I think its weak but I'm sure he'll make that argument to the court," Johnson said in response. "I'm sure the court will consider it and we'll see what happens going forward."
In the paperwork filed Thursday, the city offered what they call a "menu of options" for the judge to consider as corrections to the problem.
One, that the property shuts down for a year, two, that they stop selling bath salts or synthetic marijuana for a year, and three, the business may continue selling synthetic marijuana in accordance with 14 conditions.
Some of those conditions are paying for extra police, reimbursing for the cleanup of vomit, urine, and other waste within two blocks, that customers must enter through Michigan Street only, that they only sell on specific days and hours and will limit purchases of such items to $40 a person.
The options are expected to be reviewed by a judge in late November.
Jim Carlson has already filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Duluth for what he called an unlawful raid of his shop in Sept. 2011.
On Wednesday, he filed a similar suit against the federal government for their July 2012 raid.