The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up

Ericka Jensen
INDIANA

Adult Shop Files Lawsuit Against Local County

JACKSON COUNTY, Ind. — A wood shed is at the center of a lawsuit filed by an adult shop against the county.

The Lions Den Adult Shop is claiming the county is showing favoritism towards a group of protesters called the Jackson County Watch Dogs.

The group built the shed about 30 yards away from the shop's front door. Lawyers for the shop said the group never got a permit to build the shed and the county has done nothing about it.

According to the local paper, members of the Jackson County Watch Dogs sit and wait outside the Lions Den Adult Shop taking photos of its customers and then post them online.

"We just don't need something like this in the neighborhood," Max Marling, a member of the group, told the newspaper.

Shop owners have slapped the county with a lawsuit claiming the county is ignoring the fact that the group never obtained a permit to build the shed. For more information, click here.

INDIANA

City May Require Adult Businesses to Get Permits

AVON, Indiana — City officials are considering a measure that would require adult businesses to obtain a permit from the town.

The town has zoning restrictions on where adult businesses can locate, but said requiring a permit would give the town greater legal authority should a business step out of bounds. The motivation for the permit is the case of Hot Temptations, a Plainfield business that challenged that town's zoning laws by advertising live lingerie shows and showing sexually explicit videos in the store.

The permit would cost $1,500 and require a criminal background check on the owner or partners. For more information, click here.

TENNEESEE

Downtown Dolls Loses Courtroom Battle

MEMPHIS — A downtown strip club owner has lost the opening round of a federal court fight with the city.

U.S. District Judge Bernice Donald ruled that the owner of the Downtown Dolls strip club is not exempt from a ban on adult entertainment businesses.

Owner Charles G. Westlund bought the property in 2005.

Westlund had claimed in a lawsuit that Downtown Dolls was exempt or “grandfathered” from zoning rules enacted by a city ordinance in 1994 that banned adult entertainment in the zoning district known as the Central Business Improvement District. His claim was that the location had operated as an adult entertainment business before 1994. Westlund also claimed the city violated his free speech, equal protection and due process rights under the U.S. Constitution by denying the necessary permits for Downtown Dolls.

The U.S. District Judge ruled this week that there is limited evidence as to whether adult entertainment was ever permitted at the establishment’s address.

Westlund also is among the plaintiffs challenging in a separate federal court lawsuit the countywide ordinance establishing a permit and criminal background check for all strip club owners and employees.

Enforcement of the ordinance has been stayed as the court challenge by the club owners is appealed. For more information, click here.

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