What safeguards must a city licensing law have with respect to adult bookstores and related businesses?

Monday, November 18, 2002

The U.S. Supreme Court has indicated that city licensing laws must contain some procedural safeguards in order to guard against censorship. In its 1990 decision FW/PBS v. City of Dallas, the high court said that a licensing scheme for adult businesses must contain two such safeguards:

  • The decision to issue or deny a license must be made within a “specified and reasonable time period.”

  • “There must be the possibility of prompt judicial review in the event that the license is erroneously denied.”