opinion

FSC Provides Information on L.A. County ‘Safer Sex’ Ordinance Permitting Requirement Letter to Adult

Diane Duke

In response to a letter sent out by L.A. County to some adult producers and directors on December 17th concerning the “Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act,” the Free Speech Coalition wishes to provide information to aid in decisions concerning shooting in L.A. County.

First and foremost, all adult businesses should consult with their attorneys as far as where to shoot, permitting procedures, the interpretation of the law, as well as the civil and criminal risks involved. FSC cannot provide legal advice. Only a lawyer familiar with your company’s circumstances can advise you how to reduce risk of liability.  What is good advice for one company could be disastrous for another.

The letter states that the ordinance pertains to the unincorporated cities in L.A. County and cities that have adopted “Title 39.” That is an error by the Department of Public Health; the correct code section is Title 11.39.

For unincorporated areas in L.A. County go to these listings of unincorporated areas in Los Angeles County.  It is up to adult businesses to track cities that have adopted Title 11.39 — there are 88 incorporated cities in L.A. County, listed here. Vernon, Long Beach and Pasadena have their own Public Health Departments and do not contract with the County. It may be that those cities will not be enforcing Measure B. FSC will try to undertake this analysis, but it will take time and staffing which we do not currently have.

Film LA (the entity that grants onsite permits for filming) has been asked to provide L.A. County with information about adult companies that apply for a permit. The County plans to provide Film LA with a list of adult companies on which to report. Therefore, when an adult company applies for an on-site permit from Film LA for filming in L.A. County, the County will be notified about the shoot. L.A. County can inspect shoots at will without giving prior notice. A permit from Film LA will NOT mean compliance to the County’s permit requirements and the County will be notified about the time and place of adult filming for those who obtain a Film LA permit.

The letter sent by L.A. County is the County’s interpretation of the law and it is possible that the law could be interpreted even more strictly by the courts. Also the ordinance allows for private citizens and entities — like AIDS Healthcare Foundation — to file civil complaints concerning ordinance compliance.

A legal challenge to the ordinance by the adult industry is forthcoming and we will keep you notified about the litigation and issues pertinent to adult filming in L.A. County.

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