Adam & Eve Franchise Operator Takes Zoning Case to U.S. Appeals Court

Adam & Eve Franchise Operator Takes Zoning Case to U.S. Appeals Court

JONESBORO, Ark. — An Adam & Eve franchise operator has taken its fight to open a retail location in Jonesboro to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

With the appeal, Adam & Eve Jonesboro LLC is challenging an Arkansas statute defining an adult bookstore.

In August, U.S. District Court Judge D. Price Marshall ruled in favor of Jonesboro and dismissed litigation after the franchise operator sued the city and the mayor when it denied permits the business needed to open its doors.

Adam & Eve was stocked and ready to open when the city refused to give the retailer a conditional-use permit and refused to inspect the store, according to the suit.

Adam & Eve, which sells some pleasure products and novelty items, claims that terms of Jonesboro statute are “largely undefined, unconstitutionally vague and overbroad, and are arbitrarily enforced” and asked Marshall to either declare the statute unconstitutional or determine that the statute doesn’t apply to its business.

The suit claimed the "statute is an unconstitutional prior restraint on protected speech, is unconstitutionally vague and overboard, is not narrowly tailored to serve a substantial government interest, is arbitrarily and capriciously enforced by the defendants, and violates [Adam & Eve Jonesboro LLC’s] right to equal protection."

Although the city of Jonesboro issued a privilege license allowing Adam & Eve to do business within the municipality’s boundaries, it contended the proposed location requires the owners to apply for and receive a conditional-use permit as well.

The city of Jonesboro contended that the proposed site is near a church, putting it in violation of state law, which sets a 1,000-foot restriction from designated places, such as residential use areas and schools, and a city ordinance that increases the distance to 2,000 feet.

On Thursday, Adam & Eve Jonesboro LLC submitted its opening brief to the appeals court.