LOS ANGELES—In a single-sentence letter sent yesterday to the court, defendant-appellees Jonathan Fielding, Jackie Lacey and the County of Los Angeles notified the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that they will not file an answering brief in the appeal filed Sept. 17 by Vivid v. Fielding co-plaintiffs Vivid Entertainment, Kayden Kross and Logan Pierce.
This is the second time county officials have declined to defend the Measure B law in court, a fact that earned another round of condemnation from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. In a press release issued today, the Foundation “expressed its frustration and disappointment today with Los Angeles County officials for their decision to abdicate responsibility to defend a legal challenge to Measure B, the Los Angeles County Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, which LA County voters passed with an overwhelming 57 percent to 43 percent margin last November.”
AHF president Michael Weinstein added, “It is a sad day when Dr. Jonathan Fielding and other L.A. County bureaucrats are unwilling or unable to defend a fairly straightforward law protecting the health and safety of adult film performers working in the industry in Los Angeles County. Despite [District Court] Judge Pregerson's ruling that the condom requirement is, in fact, constitutional, County officials are now cherry picking which laws to enforce. This should be a huge embarrassment to the County, but as we've seen before, with little to no little accountability, they have no shame whatsoever."
The letter to the court issued on behalf of the county is available here.
In other developments, an order was filed Oct. 1 by the appeals court clerk that keeps alive AHF's intention to act as an intervenor-apelleee in the appeal.
The order reads, "Appellants’ motion to dismiss intervenor-appellees from this preliminary injunction appeal, contained in the opposition to the motion for an extension of time to file the answering brief, including any opposition and reply thereto, is referred to the panel assigned to decide the merits of this preliminary injunction appeal for whatever consideration the panel deems appropriate.
"Intervenor-appellees may file a response to appellants’ motion to dismiss within 10 days after the date of this order, and a reply may be filed by appellants’ within 7 days after service of the response"