The Houston District of the Southern District of Texas recently received a lawsuit that was first filed in the Harris County 215th District Court and alleges that the city of Houston enacted practices detrimental to the business of Richmond Ventures, Inc.
Richmond Ventures sued the city on July 23. Its complaint explains that the city and several adult entertainment clubs were embroiled in court battles over purported violations of city ordinances at the beginning of the decade, stating the parties eventually reached a settlement agreement in 2013.
The plaintiff, which operates Legends, was not part of the settlement. The original petition further argues that the defendant treated establishments listed in the agreement differently from those that were not such as Legends.
“The intended or consequential effect of the settlement was that the clubs that are part of the agreement are treated differently by the city than are the clubs who are not part of the agreement,” the suit says. “The disparate treatment is not based upon the actions of a particular club, but rather is solely related to whether the club is part of the settlement.”
Clubs which did not settle with the city, including Legends, “have been placed at a competitive disadvantage” and there are no guarantees they will be permitted to join the aforementioned settlement even if they complied with the city’s request to change the layout of their venues, the suit adds.
Richmond Ventures insists Legends did all it could to abide by the defendant’s orders only to be subjected to continuous harassment.
“Since the settlement went into effect, Legends has suffered a significant drop in revenue as increased police harassment of its operations, and a corresponding decrease in the harassment of its competitors (namely, the clubs that are part of the settlement), have driven customers from Legends to other clubs,” the suit says.
The city, meanwhile, countered the plaintiff’s allegations in an original answer submitted on Sept. 11, as well as entered a notice of removal.
Attorney Kevin Michael Madden of The Law Offices of Kevin Michael Madden, P.L.L.C. in Houston is Richmond Ventures’ lead counsel.
Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case No. 4:15-CV-2710
Harris County 215th District Court Case No. 2015-42637