Judge rules state can't stop moving company from operating in Kentucky

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FRANKFORT — A federal judge has ruled that the state may not stop a Lexington moving company from operating in Kentucky.

U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves ruled Thursday that the state may not enforce a law that lawyers for Wildcat Moving say gives existing moving firms veto power over any new moving business in Kentucky.

Reeves also ordered that the state could not at the same time pursue a state court lawsuit that would stop Wildcat Moving owner Raleigh Bruner from pursuing his anti-competition claims in federal court.

Bruner filed the federal lawsuit in August 2012, challenging the constitutionality of the law that requires a mover to receive a certificate of necessity.

As part of obtaining that certificate, existing moving van operators in the state can say that another mover is not necessary. Bruner's lawyers say the little-known provision gives existing Kentucky movers a clear advantage. No new certificates of necessity have been issued to new Kentucky movers if an existing moving company filed a protest during the certificate of necessity process.

The state contends that Wildcat Moving operated in Kentucky for more than a year without a certificate of necessity and has been operating illegally.