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Thursday, April 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Define ‘Sexually Oriented,’ Store Tells City

SALT LAKE CITY (CN) - Dr. John's store sued Midvale City, contesting two criminal citations. It claims Midvale unconstitutionally requires clerks in a sexually oriented business to be licensed - a form of censorship - and that the city failed to define what percentage of floor space need be devoted to adult items to make a store considered a sexually oriented business.

Dr. John's says that only 10 percent of its floor space is devoted to adults-only material. "The sale of such materials, however, is incidental to the larger purpose of selling material aimed at enhancing the enjoyment of the romantic aspects of life," including "lingerie, swimwear, shoes, oils and lotions, masquerade costumes, incense, and other novelties aimed at adults".

In a previous case, the court ruled against Dr. John's, finding that it had displayed "several hundred dildos" for sale. But the store says it's reduced the floor space devoted to that item, and that "the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had recently ruled that the sale of 'Adult toys' is protected by the constitutional right to privacy of the store's customers, thus elevating the right to sell such items to a constitutionally protected right." (in Reliable Consultants v. Earle, F. 3rd, Case No. 06-51067, Feb. 12, 2008.)

Dr. John's seeks declaratory judgment, in Salt Lake County Court.

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