Adult Store Case Going to State Supreme Court

Matt O'Conner
VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. — In a dispute that stretches back several years, the New York State Supreme Court on Feb 6. will hear a case regarding a town’s request to close an adult retail store on the grounds that it is operating illegally.

The court also has agreed to take up the store’s case for an injunction against its eviction, but no date has been set for that hearing.

The town is asking the court to grant a permanent injunction against Xpressions adult store, which is owned by Hempstead Video, to “prevent [the store] from operating in this location in violation of local law.”

In 1996, Valley Stream passed a zoning ordinance that would have made it illegal for Xpressions to operate in its current location. However, Hempstead Video was allowed to keep the store open under a special agreement with the town as long as it covered up the windows, used a nondescript sign that read either “adult shop” or “adult store” and did not have any enclosed video viewing booths on the premises.

In 2002, a former employee informed city officials that the store was operating viewing booths. Code enforcement officials cited the store and gave it 120 days to remove the booths, but the store took six months to do so, prompting a lower court to void the 1996 agreement and grant a temporary injunction forcing Hempstead Video to cease operations of Xpressions.

The store has remained closed since that time, and the town wants to keep it that way by seeking a permanent injunction from the Supreme Court. The building’s landlord, meanwhile, has sought to evict Hempstead Video due to a breach in their lease agreement — more specifically, for failing to pay rent.

For its part, Hempstead Video is seeking an injunction in the Supreme Court that would prevent the eviction of Xpressions from the property.