LOS ANGELES — A Superior Court judge in Orange County has ruled that The Naughty Teddy store in Fullerton, Calif., may continue to operate in the same location as long as it keeps its adult-themed merchandise to less than 25 percent of its display space.
In Fullerton, a store is considered an adult business if more than 25 percent of its space holds adult merchandise. The City had sued The Naughty Teddy, located on Commonwealth Avenue in the heart of downtown, in an attempt to force it to move or comply with the percentages.
The Naughty Teddy, which opened a year ago, had maintained all along that it was a clothing store with accessories — not an adult business — and thus operating well within the city’s compliance requirements. Its inventory consists mostly of lingerie, with some toys and novelty items.
“The city's lawsuit was a waste of time and money because the store never had more than 25 percent adult material in it,” said attorney Roger Jon Diamond, who represents The Naughty Teddy.
Superior Court Judge Geoffrey T. Glass made the ruling, instructing co-owner Dawn Aquino and her partner to adhere to the 25 percent municipal code.
"It kind of sucks that we had to spend all that money and the taxpayers' money for this case just to do what we were already doing," Aquino told XBIZ. "I think it’s really sad that this city does this to places that are bringing in tax money and revenue for the city."
“They were trying to say lingerie [and lubes and lotions] were adult, but we got all that thrown out,” added Aquino’s partner.
Meanwhile, a separate criminal complaint against Aquino, also filed by the city, is scheduled to be heard Monday, though that case could be dismissed as a result of the outcome to this week's civil ruling.
"I'm waiting to hear from the city attorney," Diamond said. "The same law firm filed both the civil and criminal lawsuits."
The complaint alleges that Aquino misrepresented facts to obtain a business license and was operating an adult business without an adult-use permit. She and her business partner pled not guilty last July.
The store last year created a website to generate community support in its battle with the City at SavetheNaughtyTeddy.org.