Capital Video Corporation, the parent company of Amazing.net, filed suit against the town of Kittery, seeking a temporary restraining order to block enforcement of the town’s public health ordinance.
The town passed the ordinance, which bars adult stores from placing doors on viewing booths, after several townspeople complained of finding used condoms, sex toys and other trash outside the store. Police also found traces of semen in the booths, raising concerns over public health.
In a letter to Town Manager Jon Carter, Lesley Rich, an attorney for Capital Video Corporation, stated that the company was “very sensitive to the needs of the communities” in which it does business.
"It is a strict policy that our employees consistently police the property surrounding [Amazing.net],” Rich wrote. “And we will double our efforts to [ensure] that this is done on a routine basis.”
Disregarding the company’s 1st Amendment argument, Judge Paul Fritzsche ruled in favor of the town, writing: “There is no fundamental liberty interest to view sexually explicit materials in a closed viewing booth at a business.”
Despite the preliminary ruling by Fritzsche denying the store’s request to enjoin the ordinance, the legal battle will continue, according to the company. A trial date for a full trial regarding the store’s 1st Amendment concerns has yet to be set.
"We’re obviously dismayed at the lawsuit," Town Manager Jon Carter said. "We will determine how to proceed from here under the shadow of a lawsuit. Obviously we want to enforce the ordinance as quickly as possible."
Each violation of the town’s ordinance is subject to $200 per day in fines.
Through its Amazing.net subsidiary, Capital Video Corporation operates a website as well as stores in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas.