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US Supreme Court Won’t Review Flesh Club Case

Washington- The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to review a decision by the state’s highest court voiding a $1.4 million judgment against San Bernardino for lost business at the Flesh Club after the city won an injunction barring nude dancing there.

City Attorney Jim Penman called the ruling “a big victory for the city.”

Flesh Club attorney Roger Jon Diamond [pictured] said, “The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision did not end this case.”

Diamond said he had hoped the court’s review would prevent him from returning to the San Bernardino County Superior Court for a hearing to determine if the city attorney misrepresented the facts of the case in the preliminary injunction. Diamond said he will return to court and his client will prevail.

The high court’s decision ends a dispute that has been working its way through lower tribunals since January 1995, when city officials won a preliminary injunction requiring that dancers at the Flesh Club remain clothed.

To obtain the order, city officials had to convince a county Superior Court judge that they had a right to enforce zoning rules prohibiting nude entertainment in a family-oriented business district.

City officials claimed the cabaret had flouted zoning laws. They cited locations comprising more than 224 acres where they claimed the club could operate legally. The judge issued an injunction prohibiting nudity at the Hospitality Lane club.

In 1999, a state appeals court found San Bernardino’s zoning regulation unconstitutional, in part because the city overstated the number and size of alternative locations. A corrected count shows about 80 acres available.

Diamond called the discrepancy proof of a deliberate lie, but city officials said they simply made a mistake.

In April, the state Supreme Court ruled that the lower trial court that heard the 1995 case, not city officials, was responsible for the injunction. Monday’s ruling leaves that decision in place.


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