Catching a break this spring

Well … it’s almost spring. The Shark Lounge is a Daytona Beach “bikini bar” that, as the term suggests, offers patrons the opportunity to buy alcoholic beverages while watching female performers dance in bikinis. (The patrons don’t wear the bikinis, you understand.) Bikini bars typically operate where full-fledged adult entertainment or strip clubs cannot.  This might be because the site is [...]

Rack the table. Or not.

A law written to capture a specific business sticks out like a sore thumb.  Yesterday the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion beginning, “In this case, we consider whether a business may sue a municipality under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to recover damages it sustained by cautiously complying with an ordinance that the business claims [...]

Another unglamorous tale of a pawn star

How does one analyze an unreasonable search differently from an unreasonable seizure? Does it matter, analytically, whether a seizure was unwarranted as opposed to unreasonable? The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has the answers. It issued this decision today which begins: PPS, Inc. (PPS), the owner of the EZ Cash Pawn Shop in Little Rock, Arkansas (EZ), [...]

An alternative to double-secret probation

An opinion issued today by the First Circuit Court of Appeals begins: The town of Narragansett (the Town), a sleepy seaside community in southern Rhode Island, boasts some of the most beautiful beaches on the eastern seaboard. Each summer, the Town experiences a substantial influx of seasonal residents. Each fall, the Town empties out, leaving [...]

Slavery & Lawn Maintenance

In May 2009, the City of Riverdale, Georgia ticketed “Linda Gasses for violating [a] local ordinance when she failed to cut the high grass on the portion of her property adjacent to a public right-of-way.” (The ordinance, in case you’re wondering, makes “[i]t is unlawful for either the occupant or the owner of property… to have… [...]

Church v. Liquor

Yesterday the Louisiana’s Court of Appeal (Second Circuit) issued this opinion. It begins: We granted rehearing to further review whether the Shreveport City Council (the “City Council” or “City”) abused its discretion when it reversed the decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals (the “ZBA”) which granted the special exception use to Roland Toups for his [...]

How much is that lawn mower in the window?

Paul Braley (“Braley”) has a leasehold interest in property in Forest Park, Georgia, where he operates a retail salvage store. Since 1984, he has displayed merchandise for sale to the public in front of the store in an area where there is a sidewalk and places to park. In March 2007, the City of Forest [...]

Bar 1, City 0

Pro’s Sports Bar & Grill is not happy with the City of Country Club Hills. When Pro’s applied to the City for a liquor license, the City claims, it was given a license that allows it to operate, but only with more restricted hours than is typical. (The City says it conditioned a license on Pro’s closing at 12:30 a.m., almost 3 hours earlier [...]

Noise, noise, everywhere, nor any note to hear

The plains are not alive with the sound of music. If you’re going to organize an outdoor concert featuring “several well-known bands,” don’t tick off the neighbors by playing loud music. If you can help it. If the volume does tick off your neighbors, pray that they don’t have the ear of a city councilmember (who hears their cries, but [...]

You’re uninvited

Tow-truck drivers are either saviors or serpents. There is no in-between, in most eyes.  If your car leaves you stranded on the Interstate, you rejoice when those yellow lights arrive. Hero. If, on the other hand, you leave your car unattended in a restricted public parking lot, you recoil when those yellow lights disappear – with your car. Crook. You might wonder how a private [...]