Clothier Fights West Hollywood’s Ban on Fur

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – A clothing store filed a second lawsuit against West Hollywood, claiming its law prohibiting sale and distribution of fur clothing is unconstitutional.
     Mayfair House sued the City of West Hollywood in Federal Court in September 2013, alleging that the city’s Ordinance No. 11-877 violates the U.S. and California Constitutions.
     U.S. District Judge George King upheld the ordinance in May, dismissing the plaintiff’s due process, equal protection, and civil rights claims against the city.
     Last year, city spokeswoman Lisa Belsanti said she believed the ordinance is constitutional.
     “The city adopted the ordinance banning the sale of fur apparel products because the sale of these products in the City of West Hollywood is inconsistent with the city’s reputation as a Cruelty Free Zone for animals, and the city’s goal of being a community that cares about animal welfare,” Belsanti said.
     Mayfair House has filed a similar complaint in Superior Court, challenging an ordinance that makes it “‘unlawful for anyone to sell, import, export, trade or distribute’ any new clothing product made wholly or partly of animal fur by any means anywhere in the city on or after Sept. 21, 2013.'”
     Violators face criminal fines and repeat offenders can be fined again and jailed. Mayfair claims the city adopted the law after nonparty John D’Amico, the law’s “chief architect” was elected in 2011 to the City Council on a wave of support from animal rights activists.
     But only California can enact a “wildlife regulation,” making the law void under the California Constitution, according to Mayfair.
     “The ordinance contradicts various California statutes permitting the trade in products made of the fur of certain animals. The ordinance also conflicts with state law in that it duplicates still other state statutes that prohibit the trade in products made of the fur of only certain but not other animals, unlike the ordinance which is more sweeping in its ban,” the complaint states.
     Mayfair wants the court to enjoin enforcement of the ordinance, and declaratory judgment that it is unconstitutional.
     The clothier is represented by Michael O’Connor of Kelley Drye & Warren.

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