DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The owners of a Des Moines bar in the city's East Village are suing the city and various officials, saying their bar has been unfairly targeted for closure.

The Des Moines Register reports that brothers George and Cornelius Qualley, owners of Lime Lounge, have filed two lawsuits. One seeks to block the city's attempt to close the club, asking a judge to nullify Des Moines' ordinance that requires bars to obtain a conditional-use permit to secure a liquor license.

The second lawsuit alleges malicious prosecution, defamation, libel and conspiracy and seeks $12.5 million in damages.

The Qualleys allege the bar is being targeted for playing hip hop music. The bar's conditional-use permit was revoked in 2016 after noise violations. It remains open while it fights that revocation.

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The defamation lawsuit centers on a pair of January shootings that took place near the bar. The Qualleys dispute police statements that both shootings followed disputes inside the bar.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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