The city could strip a downtown club of its seminude dancing shows or force it to move to the outskirts of town.
Fourth District Judge Howard H. Maetani Tuesday denied LeMar's Nightclub's request for a preliminary injunction to stop Provo from enforcing new laws that require the bar to relocate or end its striptease. LeMar's argued in court two weeks ago that the laws violate its First Amendment rights.LeMar's attorney Andrew W. McCullough called the ruling "outrageous" when informed about it Tuesday afternoon.But upon reading the judge's 13-page memorandum, he said it's clear to him that the judge also favors the city on the larger constitutional issues LeMar's raised.
Rather than petition the state Supreme Court to consider only the preliminary injunction ruling, McCullough said the judge might as well grant Provo summary judgment so the entire case can move to Salt Lake City on appeal. McCullough said he drafted a letter Tuesday requesting Provo ask Maetani for a judgment, which would eliminate a trial in the 4th District.
The City Council adopted a zoning ordinance last December that confines adult entertainment to a retail/industrial area of southeast Provo. The law gave existing adult bookstores, strip clubs and similar businesses 135 days to relocate. LeMar's is the only such business in Provo.
The council also passed a strict "sexually oriented business" law that invokes a so-called "bikini" standard prohibiting dancers from peeling down to pasties. In addition, the law bans alcohol from being served in adult entertainment establishments.
David Dixon, assistant city attorney, told the police department Tuesday it can enforce the ordinance once the judge signs an order prepared by the city.