Home > News > L.A. Health Officials Can't Be Forced to Regulate Porn Shoots, Court Rules • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

NEWS STORY

L.A. Health Officials Can't Be Forced to Regulate Porn Shoots, Court Rules

L.A. Health Officials Can't Be Forced to Regulate Porn Shoots, Court Rules
Get XBIZ News
Jun 17, 2011 10:00 AM PDT    Text size: 

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County public health officials have the discretion to mandate regulations to control sexually transmitted diseases on porn sets, an appeals court ruled Thursday.

The county had been sued by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has been a thorn for the adult entertainment industry for years as it attempts to make condoms mandatory for all porn productions.

The AHF sued the county for its inaction over regulating porn shoots. It lost in a lower court and reached out to the California Appeal Court, which ruled against it, 3-0.

Appellate judges, in the unpublished opinion, said the county's health department has discretion to determine what measures are necessary to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases and could not be forced by the courts to implement the specific means advocated by the AHF.

The AHF said in the appeal that that the porn biz in Los Angeles county has been afflicted by recurrent outbreaks of sexually transmitted diseases among performers — an "epidemic" — including HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, hepatitis, genital human papillomavirus infection and genital herpes.

It blames the "lack of protective equipment for performers, including condoms,” for the so-called "epidemic," and says the county has taken no effective steps to address it.

In their appeal, the AHF honed in on alleged violations of Heath and Safety Codes, including Sec. 120575, which requires that a health officer who knows or has reason to believe that any contagious, infectious or communicable diseases exists, or recently existed “shall take measures as may be necessary to prevent the spread of the disease or occurrence of additional cases.”

The appeal also focused on Sec. 120175, which refers to venereal diseases, and provides that it is the duty of the health officer to investigate all cases, to ascertain the sources of infection, and to take “all measures reasonably necessary to prevent the transmission of infection.” 

The AHF contended that the laws impose a mandatory duty to act to control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and asked a lower court to issue a writ of mandate directing the Department of Public Health to enforce Secs.120175 and 120575 by requiring adult film producers ensure performers are vaccinated for hepatitis B and use condoms during filming.

The AHF, in the alternative, asked the court to declare the department had abused its discretion under these sections in failing to take action and direct the agency to “cure that abuse of discretion.” 

But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David P. Yaffe entered a judgment of dismissal, setting up a ruling on appeal.

On Thursday, writing for the majority, Judge Richard Aldrich said Secs. 120175 and 120575 do not “impose a ministerial duty, for which mandamus will lie,” but “a mere obligation to perform a discretionary function.”

The county Health Department has “discretion to choose among various measures, ranging from quarantine and isolation to physician referrals and testing in carrying out this duty,” he ruled.

Aldrich concluded the courts “cannot compel another branch of the government to exercise its discretion in a particular manner,” nor “compel the [county Health Department] to implement the [AHF's] agenda.”

Aldrich, who was joined by judges Joan Klein and Patti Kiching in the appeal, pointed the AHF to direct its efforts “at lawmakers to change the laws and workplace regulations.”

The AHF told XBIZ late Friday that they won't challenge the appellate ruling but would fight on.

“While it is unfortunate that the court found the Department of Public Health’s statutory duty to investigate and respond to outbreaks of sexually transmitted diseases in the adult film industry did not rise to the level warranting a writ of mandate, AIDS Healthcare Foundation will continue to pursue all available means to protect adult film workers in the industry," AHF spokesman Ged Kenslea said.

Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, told XBIZ that AHF has a history of filing frivolous lawsuits.

"L.A. County had already identified sexually transmitted infections in the adult industry as a 'non-issue' when it comes to public health," she said. "Moreover, a recent report concerning STIs in the adult entertainment industry confirmed that adult performers have a lower rate of STIs than populations of individuals who test at STI clinics and other sexually active groups."

The case is AIDS Healthcare Foundation vs. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, B222979.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !

LEGAL PERSPECTIVES

Touring Attorney Takes Look at Porn Under Putin

About four miles northwest of the Kremlin, three blocks off of Tsverskaya Ulitsa (a congested throughfare, which in communist times had a reputation akin to Times Square on account of reputation for commerce... More »

FTC Continues to Make Its Presence Felt

Make no mistake about it, if you are an online business operator, legal compliance should be at the top of your list of priorities. For the better part of the past decade I have preached about the importance... More »

Business Models Can Trigger Regulatory Compliance

Adult website operators are typically familiar with the obligations imposed by Title 18 U.S.C. § 2257 (Section 2257) which mandates the compilation and maintenance of certain records relating to the... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ World magazine, the industry's leading e-commerce trade publication, delivering in-depth coverage of the online, mobile and ancillary digital markets.

UPCOMING EVENTS

QWEBEC Expo 2016

Aug 04 - Aug 07
Montreal, Canada

Gentlemen’s Club EXPO

Aug 07 - Aug 10
New Orleans, Louisiana

Sexhibition

Aug 19 - Aug 21
Manchester, U.K.

EXXXOTICA Columbus

Aug 26 - Aug 28
Columbus, Ohio
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!