Georgia Supreme Court upholds noise ordinance

Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. One early Saturday morning, Ian Grady was cited by a county police officer for violating Athens-Clarke County Ordinance § 3-5-24(c)(2)(a), which prohibits noise from “mechanical sound-making devices” or from a party that is “plainly audible” 100 feet away from a person’s property limits between midnight and 7:00 [...]

Springfield to defend its “family-oriented theater” alcohol ban

This article appearing today on News-Leader.com caught my eye. In the article, Amos Bridges reports that the City of Springfield (MO) will defend a new ordinance that “prohibits alcohol sales at any movie theater where customers younger than 21 account for more than 25 percent of ticket sales.” Theaters that “have achieved … IRC section 501(c)(3) status” are expressly [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Today’s adult entertainment decisions

A pair of decisions to start the week. “The town of Clarksville’s legal case against Theatair X was dismissed Monday as a judge ruled the town’s ordinance is not valid and therefore cannot be enforced,” reports the NewsAndTribune.com (which, oddly enough, is a “.net” Web site)  here. The Clarksville Town Court held that the ordinance regulating sexually oriented [...]

A 1-2 punch

Tandem opinions from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals were released yesterday.  In the first case, Entertainment Productions, Inc. and others sued Shelby County, challenging the constitutionality of the Tennessee Adult-Oriented Establishment Registration Act on First Amendment grounds. EP argued four points: First, the definitions of “adult cabaret,” “adult-oriented establishment,” and “adult entertainment” render the Act unconstitutionally overbroad; [...]

An argument for getting that cell phone away from your head

Gayle, Kristine and Angela sued the City of Chicago, challenging the constitutionality of its ordinance that prohibits the use of wireless telephones without a “hands-free” device while driving a motor vehicle. How do you think that suit fared? Good job. Judge Wood (my prediction for the next SCOTUS Junior Justice) began the opinion like this: “The [...]

A couple of recent adult entertainment decisions

This one from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The plaintiff, Doctor John’s, is an adult novelty store suing the City of Roy, Utah. This sums it up: “Although we conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion in striking the articles, even if the articles were considered as evidence under the Alameda Books [...]

Slots & Sovereignty

It’s a video poker case. Over at SCOTUSblog, they’re betting that that it is taken up by the Supreme Court. I won’t (meaning, I can’t) handicap the odds. The case concerns Jimmy Martin and his company, Lucky Strike, which have sought to enjoin enforcement of two South Carolina statutes criminalizing certain “device[s] pertaining to games [...]