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Deja Vu Lawyer Argues Decision

INDUSTRY, California – A strip club is getting a second hearing to appeal the city’s decision to force the club to turn off its animated display sign.

Dale Manicom said the club did not get a fair appeal hearing. So the city has agreed to let the club speak at a City Council meeting scheduled for Thursday.

The new hearing is in response to a lawsuit Manicom filed on behalf of the club.

Manicom claimed club officials never got a chance to cross-examine city employees. He said they were allowed only three minutes to make their case and that city officials did not make clear how the club violated the city’s ordinance. He is seeking attorney’s fees and permission to reactivate the sign.

City Attorney Michele Vadon said the city gave Deja Vu a fair hearing.

Representatives from the club were welcome to talk to the city’s staff, she said, and advocates for the club could have taken all the time they needed.

“I’m not sure their attorney had all the information he needed,” she said. “So we’re just going to do it again.”

City officials forced Deja Vu`s owners to deactivate the sign in May after police officers noticed workers overhauling it without a permit, city officials said.

According to city law, no new electronic signs are allowed in the city without a special permit. Signs already installed can be operated until Sept. 12, 2008, according to city law. City officials claim Deja Vu essentially made the sign new when they overhauled its electronic system.

Manicom had little to say about the case, only that he wanted to save his arguments until the hearing.

He did point out, however, that the city has an electronic display sign near City Hall.

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