Adult nightclubs sue city of Beaumont over municipal ordinances

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Mar. 25, 2013, 6:01pm

Two adult entertainment companies have filed a lawsuit against the city of Beaumont, claiming that the city’s ordinances have denied the companies due process and other constitutional protections. 

J.A.I. Dining Services (Beaumont) Inc. and Fannett Entertainment filed suit against The city of Beaumont, City Attorney Tyrone E. Cooper, Police Chief James P. Singletary, Police Lt. Ky Brown and Danny Daniels on March 18 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

The plaintiffs each operate an adult nightclub in the city of Beaumont, where erotic dance performances are presented. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs have been at the locations and operated for years.

According to the suit, Beaumont has enacted and enforces code that deals with the licensing, location, regulation and operation of sexually oriented business, including adult cabarets. The plaintiffs argue that if the adult clubs do not comply with the codes, the city disconnects the service utilities, specifically turning off the electric power.

The plaintiffs argue that the Code is not narrowly tailored to advance a substantial governmental interest, does not provide adequate constitutional safeguards, is constitutionally overbroad, was enacted without any valid evidence to support the restrictions it imposes, is irrational, arbitrary, and capricious, operates to chill protected speech, and is being used as a content-based restriction on constitutionally protected erotic expression.

Further, the plaintiffs argue that the Code imposes “sweeping inspection requirements that compel sexually oriented businesses to submit to warrantless searches by law enforcement officials without probable cause.”

The plaintiffs are asking for a temporary restraining order and a permanent injunction stopping enforcement of those ordinances and an award of damages, attorney’s fees and court costs.

J.A.I. Dining Services (Beaumont) Inc. and Fannett Entertainment are represented by J. Michael Murray and Raymond V. Vasvari Jr. of Berkman, Gordon, Murrary & DeVan in Cleveland, Ohio, and Joseph C. Hawthorn in Beaumont.

U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:13-cv-00157

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