J's Distributing, Stiletto Magazine Sue City of Paramount, Calif.

Nikki Tang
PARAMOUNT, Calif. — Gentlemen's club magazine Stiletto and its distributor, J's Distributing, filed a complaint Wednesday against the city of Paramount, Calif., after officials removed the magazines from stands in an effort to enforce a city ordinance meant to protect minors.

"[City officials] obviously didn't look at my client's magazine before they took the action that they did," said Michael Fattorosi, attorney for Stiletto and J's Distributing. "There's nothing obscene or adult about Stiletto magazine. What's in the pages of Stiletto magazine is nothing more than you would see on primetime TV. There are no nude pictures and no depictions of sexual activity."

The "Newsrack Ordinance," adopted in Jan. 2008, is intended "to reduce hazards for potential accidents, alleviate blight and to limit access to materials deemed harmful to minors," according to the complaint. It holds that "harmful" periodical covers must be hidden "so that the lower two thirds are hidden from the view of the public," and that newsstands containing such publications must be guarded by an adult who checks the IDs of those who express interest in purchasing them.

In an effort to enforce the ordinance, city officials sent a letter to J's Distributing owner Tom Lee on Feb. 8, informing him that Stiletto, a magazine that focuses on gentlemen's clubs throughout Southern California, contained "harmful" material and needed to be removed from stands immediately. The letter threatened with impounding by the city and a fee of $200 for retrieval of the impounded magazines. After more letters and a meeting between Lee and the city officials, the city pulled Stiletto, as well as several other adult-oriented publications, from the newsstands.

"The city of Paramount really gave me a hard time," Lee told XBIZ. " I'm tired of being kicked out and losing thousands of dollars of machinery just because somebody doesn't like the look of something."

Fattorosi added that, "Stiletto magazine is a magazine that reports on and discusses activities and goings on at gentlemen's clubs in Southern California, but in no way could it be considered material that is harmful to children. For Paramount to make this decision is a violation of my clients' First Amendment rights. I feel very confident that we will win this case."

Other affected publications, including LA Xpress magazine and Private Dancer magazine, may join Stiletto and J's Distributing in the lawsuit, according to Lee.

Officials from the city of Paramount were not available for comment at time of post.