BMan Lawsuit Moves Forward

A Nevada federal judge ruled April 26 a lawsuit filed by Burning Man organizers against Pershing County, Nev., officials regarding alleged unconstitutional fee increases for the event will go to trial later this year.

Black Rock City LLC, the nonprofit that hosts the week-long festival at Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, sued Pershing County in August over an allegedly unconstitutional festival permitting ordinance, according to

The plaintiffs claim the county is using an outdated ordinance to single out Burning Man and increase BRC’s event-related costs to the county from about $180,000 in 2011 to more than $600,000 this year, which could make it too expensive to keep the event there. 

U.S. District Court Judge Robert C. Jones denied Pershing County’s request to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the ordinance in question could violate Burning Man’s First Amendment rights.

“The judge’s ruling is a major victory for Burning Man,” said BRC general counsel Terry Gross. “The county attempted to dismiss the entire case, and the court denied that as to all critical claims.”

The lawsuit is scheduled for trial in a Reno, Nev., court Sept. 24.