Guy Named Moe v. Chipotle Mexican Grill
August 5, 2020
This battle of the Mexican restaurants unfolded in Annapolis over Chipotle’s application for a special exception to build a restaurant at the city dock 425 feet from Moe’s Southern Grill. Moe objected to the city’s approval of the application and sued Chipotle in the Circuit Court. Chipotle, not to be denied its prime downtown Annapolis location, fired back claiming that Moe had no standing to sue because it was a foreigner whose right to do business had been forfeited. Chipotle also argued that Moe was not a taxpayer or a “person aggrieved” by law. Moe countered by filing a certificate showing the court that it did register to do business in Maryland after-the-fact and argued it had standing to sue Chipotle since it had been doing business near the city dock for years prior to Chipotle coming onto the scene.
The case made its way to the Court of Appeals, which decided that Moe had cured its infirmity by properly registering even though it was done after the lawsuit was filed. However, the court ultimately decided in favor of Chipotle, holding that Moe’s restaurant was just not close enough to the proposed Chipotle location to show it was harmed. The end result is that Annapolis diners will have their choice of eating at Moe’s or Chipotle when dining at or around the city dock area.