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City stopped from enforcing adult-business law

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A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction to an adult bookstore in Indianapolis, temporarily stopping the city from enforcing a 2002 ordinance that regulates adult businesses.

In the six-year-old case of Annex Books , et al. v. City of Indianapolis, Ind., No. 1:03-CV-918, U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker in the Southern District's Indianapolis Division issued the latest ruling Dec. 1 in a case asking whether local rules violate the bookstore's constitutional free-speech rights.

She had upheld the ordinance in 2004, and it went to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard arguments in 2005 but didn't issue a decision on the case until Sept. 3 this year. The appellate court affirmed Judge Barker's judgment regarding the licensing procedures set out in the ordinance but reversed on whether any substantive First Amendment issues exist. The appellate court remanded the case for an evidentiary hearing, which Judge Barker conducted Nov. 25.

In her 15-page order, Judge Barker restrained the city from enforcing the ordinance against Annex Books until a final decision is made on the First Amendment issue.

She wrote that in order to meet its burden set out by the 7th Circuit, the city must show that adult entertainment businesses without facilities for on-premises viewing create the same secondary effects as establishments providing those services and that the revised ordinance requiring plaintiffs to close between midnight and 10 a.m. has "the purpose and effect of suppressing secondary effects, while leaving the quantity and accessibility of speech substantially intact."

Judge Barker found that the city's evidence to date is likely insufficient to meet that burden and justify the ordinance.

"Considering the significant harm to Plaintiffs' free speech rights if the injunction is not issued, we find that the narrow segment of decreased crime during enforcement of the revised ordinance that the City has been able to demonstrate at this stage in the proceedings is insufficient to tip the balance in its favor," she wrote. "Accordingly, we find that, at this stage in the proceedings, Plaintiffs have demonstrated at least some likelihood of success on the merits."

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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