Patron Socked for No Shoes in 2008 State Fair Case
With the 2016 Ohio State Fair opening July 27, patrons may want to heed the conditions for admission based on the outcome of a 2008 case.
On Aug. 9, 2008, the fair ejected Robert A. Neinast for not wearing shoes. Neinast challenged the authority of the Ohio Expositions Commission to enforce its rules in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.
Even though Neinast acknowledged the signs at the entrance warned fairgoers about wearing shoes, he said he had attended the fair without shoes at least 11 other times. The common pleas court dismissed the case finding that the “shoe requirement at the fair protects both the health and safety of fair patrons and is consistent with the general welfare of fairgoers.”
Neinast appealed to the 10th District Court of Appeals. In a unanimous Sept. 15, 2009 decision, the 10th District affirmed the trial court’s judgment. The appeals court found that the Ohio General Assembly delegated “express power” to the expositions commission to conduct the state fair and “implied power” to do so “in a safe manner and to protect the fairgoers against potential hazards” including having to wear shoes.
Neinast appealed the 10th District’s ruling to the Ohio Supreme Court, which declined to review the case on Dec. 30, 2009.