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Swingers’ Club Host Sues Texas Town Over New Ordinance

‘Cherry Pit’ host asserted that a new ordinance violates his constitutional rights, city says it will continue to enforce the ordinance, despite lawsuit.
Swingers’ Club Host Sues Texas Town Over New Ordinance
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Dec 15, 2007 8:00 AM PST    Text size: 
DUNCANVILLE, Texas — A man who holds swingers’ parties at his home in the Dallas suburb of Duncanville has filed a lawsuit against the city, asserting that a recently adopted ordinance banning sex clubs violates his constitutional rights.

According to media reports, Jim Trulock, whose home doubles as the host venue for a swingers’ club called the Cherry Pit, asserted in his lawsuit that the city has no “constitutionally acceptable” grounds for enacting and enforcing its new ordinance.

The ordinance, which was adopted by Duncanville in November, redefined key aspects of the city’s existing laws regulating sexually oriented businesses, including the definition of “sex club” under city code.

Under the new ordinance, a “sex club” defined as “Any premises, person or organization that is presented, advertised, held out or styled as, or which provides notification to the public that it is a swinger's club; an adult encounter group or center; a sexual encounter group or center; party house or home; wife, spouse or partner-swapping club; or that it provides permission, an opportunity or an invitation to engage in or view sexual activity, stimulation or gratification, whether for consideration or not.”

The term “consideration” essentially means “payment” as defined under the new ordinance. The ordinance defines consideration as the “required, voluntary or suggested payment of money or of any item of value for... the right to obtain any item permitting the right to enter or remain on the premises, or any portion thereof, or... the right to membership permitting the right to enter or remain on the premises, or any portion thereof.”

The Trulocks have been advised by counsel not to speak to the media, and referred XBIZ to their attorney, Edward Klein. Klein was not available for comment at press time, but adult industry attorney Rob Apgood, who has handled cases involving similar issues in Washington state, told XBIZ that the Duncanville ordinance was “totally unconstitutional.”

“The ordinance is absolutely unconstitutional, no question about it,” Apgood said. “It is unconstitutional both facially and as applied [to Trulock].”

Duncanville officials said they were undeterred by claims that the ordinance is unconstitutional, and will continue to try to shut down the Cherry Pit.

“We will continue to enforce the ordinances,” city spokeswoman Tonya Lewis said.

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