The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up

Tod Hunter
ARIZONA

State Supreme Court May Decide Adult-Store Hours Law

PHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court may have to decide whether a 1998 state law requiring "sexually oriented businesses" to open at 8 a.m. — and noon on Sundays — and close at 1 a.m. is allowable by the Arizona Constitution.

A recent ruling by one division of the Arizona Court of Appeals upheld the law, but a different division of the appellate court, looking at the same law, decided the restrictions were unconstitutional in 2002.

Arizona's Constitution provides that "every person may freely speak, write and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right," and the 2002 ruling by an appellate-court panel concluded the state constitution is more expansive than the 1st Amendment. That led to the judges' conclusion that the law limiting hours of operation unenforceable.

In 2003 the Arizona Supreme Court refused to consider that decision, without comment.

"I think the [state] Supreme Court will have to take it," said Peter Gentala, counsel for the Center for Arizona Policy, which filed a brief in support of upholding the 1998 law.

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NEW JERSEY

Adult Bookstore Owner, Manager, Customers Charged

BURLINGTON, N.J. — The owner, manager and landlord of Love Shack, an adult bookstore, were charged with maintaining a nuisance and other violations after undercover officers observed customers committing lewd acts during a two-hour period. Five customers also were arrested on lewdness charges.

Officers also seized $3,148 in cash from the store suspected to have been generated as a result of the illegal operations.

Lt. David Ekelburg said officers will continue to use undercover tactics to ensure adult businesses in Burlington are operating legally.

“We will continue to aggressively seek out illegal activity wherever it is occurring,” Ekelburg said.

After the raid, the store's owner and manager were charged with maintaining a nuisance, inappropriate operation of a sexually oriented business and health-code violations. The owner of the building was charged with maintaining a nuisance.

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NORTH CAROLINA

City Council Votes to Restrict Adult Entertainment

DUNBAR, N.C. — The Dunbar City Council unanimously passed an ordinance meant to restrict adult entertainment on the second reading.

The ordinance defines new forms of adult entertainment and also prohibits new adult entertainment stores from opening in residential areas.

"What we have here is an ordinance that protects the citizens," Mayor Roger Wolf said. "It is almost impossible for adult entertainment to enter the city." Monday.

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WISCONSIN

Green Bay City Council Denies Adult Entertainment License

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay City Council unanimously voted this week to deny an adult entertainment license for Danz Video. The store, which is licensed to sell adult videos and lingerie, will not be able to sell sex toys.

"It's not going to make us go away," owner Todd Conrad said. "Our business can still be there."

Conrad plans to appeal the decision to circuit court if necessary, but even if the ruling goes against him, he'll continue to sell sexy lingerie and other items that aren't governed by that entertainment license, he said.

Current zoning laws do not permit an adult store in the store's location, but the store was established before those regulations were adopted and grandfathered in.

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