Calif. City Drops Court Fight; Adult Store Can Stay

Tod Hunter
GROVER BEACH. Calif. — The Grover Beach City Council voted Monday night to end its legal battle against Diamond Adult World, as council members decided against appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of closing the downtown adult store.

“In essence, this case is over,” Grover Beach Mayor Steve Lieberman said after the City Council's closed session.

Grover Beach officials have wanted the store out of its location since it opened in December 2003, and a zoning ordinance was passed in February 2004 that made its location illegal.

The city had lost its suit to close Diamond Adult World in August when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found in favor of the store by a 2-1 vote.

In a news release, the council said the decision was based on advice from the city attorney, who said that because there was no constitutional issue in the case, a review by the Supreme Court was "unlikely."

Owner Steve Diamond told KSBY-TV in San Luis Obispo that he has mixed feelings about the decision.

"I was a little disappointed," Diamond said. "I was looking for more of a fight. I think this is one of the smarter decisions they've made in quite a while. Our Bill of Rights, our Constitution is getting destroyed by small cities that pick on the small person that can't afford the fight."

Diamond said he will work on bringing more customers back to the Grover Beach store, which had reduced its adult merchandise to 25 percent in September 2005 while the case was on appeal. Diamond said he also is thinking of opening other stores in San Luis Obispo County.