U.S. Court Reverses Decision on Ohio Strip Club

UNION TOWNSHIP, Ohio – The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a 2003 decision deeming an Ohio town’s restrictions on local strip clubs unconstitutional, sending the case back to U.S. District Court.

Union Township had passed regulations limiting business hours of adult cabarets without liquor licenses, which supporters of the adult cabaret Déjà vu said put the club in a “Catch-22” position. “The town gives you a hard time getting a liquor license, and then punishes you for not having one,” Déjà vu regular Neil Ware told XBiz.

The town’s 1999 ordinance also was ruled an illegal prior restraint because it did not allow clubs prompt judicial review of adverse licensing decisions. The three-judge panel’s 2003 decision was reversed in a 7-5 vote by the full Court of Appeals Tuesday.

The court also rejected the illegal prior restraint argument, saying that the ordinance allows temporary permits, or injunctive relief, pending an appeal.

Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro weighed in on the side of Union Township as the ordinance was challenged in court, saying, “This victory gives communities another tool to minimize the harms these businesses cause.”

The club was defended by First Amendment attorneys H. Louis Sirkin and Martin Pinales in Deja Vu of Cincinnati vs. Union Township.