Cornetta Found in Contempt in Love Shack Controversy

ATLANTA — Love Shack owner John Cornetta has been found in contempt of court for continuing to operate the store in Johns Creek, Ga.

The ruling at Fulton County Court came Monday afternoon after Johns Creek officials asked for a ruling in the case that claimed that Cornetta was violating a court order issued Feb. 28.

"We were found in contempt of the judge's original order," Cornetta told XBIZ. "I was fined $500 and costs to the city of Johns Creek, which is $1,500, maybe $2,000. "We were [originally] told we would be fined $3,000 a day every additional day that we were found in contempt," he said. "We've rectified that."

Cornetta said that Monday's ruling was a positive one for Love Shack.

"The good news is he didn't close us — and showed us how we could stay open. He also acknowledged the fact that we applied for the 2008 business license. The really good news is that he struck from the record all of [the city's] studies that they had entered in support of their ordinances.

Cornetta said that the store had reduced its adult media display to 500 square feet or less in order to comply with the Johns Creek ordinance.

He hinted that the ruling could have impact future regulation in Johns Creek.

"Next round, they'll have no studies to support their ordinances. In a couple of weeks, their whole ordinance is going to be struck."

Attorney Cary Wiggins represented Cornetta and Love Shack.

"The city had moved for a summary judgment," Wiggins told XBIZ. "Love Shack answered the complaint and raised some affirmative defenses challenging the validity of the sexually oriented business ordinances.

"The judge is trying to do the right thing, and he's giving Love Shack every opportunity to come into compliance. Love Shack is trying to do that, but at the same time they have bigger challenges than the laws themselves."

City officials were not available for comment.