Judge grants temporary restraining order to Phoenix adult businesses

Friday, September 4, 1998

A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order yesterday preventing Phoenix city officials from enforcing a state law that regulates the hours of operation for adult businesses.

A group of adult businesses filed two lawsuits recently — L.J. Concepts, Inc. v. City of Phoenix and Dream Palace v. Maricopa County — challenging the Arizona law on First Amendment grounds.

A temporary restraining order was granted yesterday in the L.J. Concepts case. Today, another judge will hold a similar hearing in the Dream Palace case.

The state law in question provides that adult businesses “shall not remain open at any time between the hours of 1:00 A.M. and 8:00 A.M. on Monday through Saturday and between the hours of 1:00 A.M. and 12:00 noon on Sunday.”

Richard Hertzberg, who represents a coalition of adult businesses in the L.J. Concepts case, said: “This law is an invalid time, place and manner restriction on speech. There is an insufficient record showing any harmful secondary effects related to the hours of operation.

“There is more crime committed late night at convenience stores than at adult businesses,” he said.

Hertzberg acknowledged that this was only a temporary ruling and that there are many cases that have upheld similar laws.

Michael House, chief counsel for the city of Phoenix, said: “We opposed this temporary restraining order. But at least we will get a chance to make the same arguments to another federal judge in the Dream Palace case.”

The temporary restraining order will be extended until a preliminary injunction hearing which is currently scheduled for Oct. 26.