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Update: Supreme Court’s Refusal to Hear Entertainment Productions, Inc. v. Shelby County

Memphis – from – It was just one of dozens of case listings from the U.S. Supreme Court on the first Monday in October: Entertainment Productions, Inc. v. Shelby County et al.

Without comment, the court denied certiorari in the case involving some radical new rules for the city’s 40 year old strip club industry. The order means the Supreme Court has denied an appeal by the strip clubs of the ruling.

County attorneys have said they are prepared to put the new rules into effect starting with a process that requires workers and owners in the clubs to have criminal background checks done and get permits to work in the clubs.

The rules also ban the strip clubs from serving beer or any other alcoholic beverages, a staple of the business that some owners have claimed will effectively put them out of business.

It also means a new method of regulating the clubs other than through the Memphis Alcohol Commission.

The Supreme Court decision not to hear the appeal sets in motion a 30 day period for the Adult Oriented Establishment (AOE) board to begin hearing violations of the ordinance approved by the Shelby County Commission.

The month before enforcement would be to give the club workers and owners enough time to get background checks and permits.

Enforcement had been stayed until the Supreme Court made its decision. The club owners had lost an appeal at the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals after losing at the trial level before U.S. District Judge Bernice Donald. They filed suit in 2008 challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance.

The ordinance approved by the commission in 2007 applies to the entire county, including Memphis, unless or until the Memphis City Council enacts its own ordinance governing strip clubs within the city limits.

The Herenton administration had talked of taking such a proposal to the council that would permit alcoholic beverages to still be served. But the discussion never got to the stage of a formal proposal.


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