Adult Businesses Sue Jackson County
Erotic City and others take claim zoning ordinance is unconstitutional
JACKSON COUNTY, Mo.
Posted Mar 25th, 2008 01:42 PM by Peter Warren
— Erotic City and other adult businesses in the area have filed a joint suit against Jackson County claiming the new ordinance
passed in January to regulate such establishments in unincorporated sections of the county violates their constitutional rights, according to The Examiner
County executive Mike Sanders, who drafted the 38-page ordinance, said, "I predicted this, and sure enough it's coming true."
The ordinance mandates, among other things, that all employees of adult businesses in the designated areas be licensed, that there be no locked doors or wall openings in viewing booths, and that strict prohibitions be maintained on the premises against loitering, sex and/or solicitation.
Erotic City attorney Sharlie Pender called the ordinance an "overreaction" by county legislators to the high number of reported illegal incidents at the store recently, including the sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl there, of which a Wyandotte County, Kan. man was convicted in November.
"Some bad things happened by some bad people," Pender said. "It's not a secret. And when bad things happen, politicians overreact. In trying to prevent certain things from happening, they went too far."
Pender asserted that the ordinance is a clear violation of Erotic City and its co-plaintiffs' First Amendment rights, and that a judge will agree.
"I wouldn't have filed it if I thought I couldn't win," he said. "I don't file frivolous lawsuits."