A Patchogue, Long Island, restaurant wants a judge to allow other people to join them in a federal lawsuit that claims the fees Suffolk County charges for security system false alarms are excessive and unconstitutional.
The restaurant is named Bobbique.
Its operator alleges that Suffolk County issued $1,400 in fines because of four false alarms triggered by construction work.
The county then sued the restaurant in small claims court for the unpaid fees.
The operator wants the federal case to be considered a class action lawsuit to allow other residents and businesses to help challenge the county.
County Legislature Minority Leader Tom Cilmi applauds the restaurant for standing up to a program that’s designed to generate revenue for the county.
“It impacts our residents, and it impacts our commercial businesses because it really – especially the registration fee – it is simply another tax on public safety.”
Officials say false alarm calls have decreased. Cilmi says that’s because security system owners disconnect their systems to avoid fees.