DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by five Macomb County residents against the Detroit Institute of Arts over admission fees to a special exhibition.

Macomb County Circuit Court Judge John C. Foster ruled Wednesday the residents — Judy and Dennis Buchholtz of Warren, Philis DeSaele of Sterling Heights, Leon Drolet of Macomb Township and Simon Haddad of Clinton Township — didn’t have standing to sue the DIA.

The lawsuit claimed the DIA violated the Michigan Consumer Protection Act by offering “unlimited, free museum admission,” and then charging visitors a fee to see a special exhibition. Judge Foster, however, said the cultural institution didn’t violate the Act as the residents allege because it is a nonprofit organization.

The residents who sued say they’re considering more legal options.

The December lawsuit followed the August approval of a 10-year millage by voters in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. The museum said the tax would provide financial stability and permit it to offer free admission to residents of the counties.

The DIA charged a fee for admission to its “Faberge: The Rise and Fall” special exhibition. DIA officials said under the tax proposal approved by voters, only general admission is free.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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