‘Ladies Day’ racks up lawsuit By Karen White / Senior Times Writer March 21 2002 SANTA MARIA — The community’s only bowling alley is being sued by a Los Angeles consumer group because women are allowed to participate for a lower price than men during “Ladies Day” on Wednesdays. Consumer Cause Inc. filed the civil rights suit Monday naming Rancho Bowl (East Donovan Lanes) and operator Mili Acquistapace of Santa Maria. The complaint for injunction and restitution seeks compensation to all the men who paid more than women to use the facility during the past four years. It is not listed as a class-action suit. No actual monetary losses are listed in the four-page suit by Morse Mehrban, a Los Angeles attorney representing Consumer Cause. The suit claims that on Ladies Day, which is Wednesday afternoon each week, men are charged $3 per game, while women are charged $4 for three games. However, an employee at Rancho Bowl said that men and women who come in to bowl together on Ladies Day are given the same lower rate. Mehrban charges that “during the four years preceding the filing of the suit, Acquistapace had known that Rancho Bowling has been charging men more than women to bowl at its facilities. Nevertheless, he has authorized such conduct and has failed and refused to prevent Rancho Bowling from engaging in such conduct.” The attorney called the policy an unlawful business practice in violation of the state’s Business and Professions Code Section 17200. He asked that Acquistapace be permanently enjoined from denying California men full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges and service of using Rancho Bowl’s bowling service. Mehrban, through a secretary, advised The Times he would not be available to comment on the suit and “did not give interviews.” Mili Acquistapace also was unavailable Wednesday, reportedly out of town. The company has not yet received a copy of the suit. Rancho Bowl Manager Patrick Smart said he could not comment until he actually saw the suit and talked to the company attorney. The suit is to be heard in a case management conference on July 22 before Santa Maria Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville. * Senior staff writer Karen White can be reached at (805) 739-2217 or by e-mail at kwhite@pulitzer.net. :nav Source: http://www.santamariatimes.com/articles/2002/03/21/news/export6397.txt

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