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Swinging Richards Sues North Miami Beach


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SR has filed suit in federal court against the city of North Miami Beach; apparently the city is trying to enforce a 1994 ordinance barring nudity and alcohol in the same club--even though it appears that location has been a female strip club with alcohol under various names for 22 years. City has given SR until May 16 to comply.

 

http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/21007265670088/strip-club-sues-city-claims-discrimination/

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I have been "friendly" with a guy that works there for about a year and a half who used to work in Ft Lauderdale. They have been running Richards as professionally as possible since the opening (i.e. no drugs, breathalyzing the dancers before they drive home, etc.) to hopefully avoid trouble. I imagined that it would turn out like this. The death hammer can come if/when the city closes them during litigation. It's a shame because, from what I hear, the place is doing well.

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There are at least two female strip clubs in North Miami Beach where nudity and alcohol are both allowed. One of them is less than half a mile from SR's and it has operated as a strip club, under various names, for at least 20 years. Questions are now be asked openly why pressure is being Put on SR's but not the others. Seems that the consequence of this mess is that the will have to allow all of them to continue "as is", or make them all give up either nudity or alcohol. Foolish Noth Miami Beach may have bitten off more than they can chew.

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Does anyone know if the 2 female strip clubs were not given the same notice ?

 

I haven't heard for sure. But apparently, the 3 clubs were specifically grandfathered in and the city has been issuing them business licenses for over 22 years. You can read the complaint here....http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2012/04/swinging_richards_sues_north_m.php

 

North Miami Beach may spend hundreds of thousands of dollars defending this suit. They have no chance to win unless they decide to enforce it against all 3 clubs. They may not win even if they do.

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I haven't heard for sure. But apparently, the 3 clubs were specifically grandfathered in and the city has been issuing them business licenses for over 22 years. You can read the complaint here....http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2012/04/swinging_richards_sues_north_m.php

 

North Miami Beach may spend hundreds of thousands of dollars defending this suit. They have no chance to win unless they decide to enforce it against all 3 clubs. They may not win even if they do.

 

I agree there is no way that the city can force only Swinging Richards to comply with the law and let the others continue to operate unaffected. The city must force all three to comply (and take the substantial tax revenue hit) or let them all continue as is. They may opt for the former....but even so need to explain why they let all the clubs operate outside of the law for many years. I'm no lawyer, but it seems North Miami Beach has created a mess for themselves.

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I'm not a lawyer either, but that won't stop me from spouting my opinion :-D

 

IIRC, in Lawrence v. Texas, where the police entered a gay couple's home on suspicion of another crime (drug-dealing) but found the couple having sex and arrested them for sodomy, the Texas anti-sodomy law was overturned not because the arrested sodomites were gay (heteros can be "guilty" of sodomy as well), but because the law was almost never enforced until the Lawrence arrest. If a law is never enforced and then all of a sudden the police decide to enforce it, it's a violation of the equal protection clause. It's one of the rare instances when I actually agree with the liberals on the court (gasp!).

 

It's not quite clear from the linked article, but I inferred that North Miami Beach first went after Swinging Richards. After SR sued, the city decided to go after all three strip clubs. But even if the city is trying to shut down all three, if a law banning full nude+alcohol was on the books for 22 years yet never enforced until a gay strip club opened, it sounds quite similar to the Lawrence case.

 

Hopefully City of North Miami Beach will come to its senses. It sounds like Swinging Richards is running a tight ship, e.g., zero-tolerance on drugs, breathalyzers for employees. As long as it's all "good, clean fun" (ahem) over at SR, NMB should just let sleeping dogs lie.

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There are at least two female strip clubs in North Miami Beach where nudity and alcohol are both allowed. One of them is less than half a mile from SR's and it has operated as a strip club, under various names, for at least 20 years. Questions are now be asked openly why pressure is being Put on SR's but not the others. Seems that the consequence of this mess is that the will have to allow all of them to continue "as is", or make them all give up either nudity or alcohol. Foolish Noth Miami Beach may have bitten off more than they can chew.

 

It's not at all this simple or clear cut. There are many unknowns here. At the end of the day, if Richards used an attorney to purchase the previous business and form a new corporation, it appears that there was some sloppy lawyer work here.

 

1. There should have been a determination from the city establishing either "grandfathering" or a waiver of some sort. This should have been a contingency in the Bill of Sale. You never assume that any city will continue to ignore or enforce a Code. That's bad business to assume this.

 

2. Any clubs (hetero) operating outside of the Code might either be grandfathered, or continued with a previous incorporation, solely changing the DBA. This would protect their right under a pre- existing corporation operating under previous rules, or lack of. It's when ownership changes that you change the game. Some or all of the hetero clubs may have continued with a previous owner involved in some way to avoid trouble.

 

3. They most certainly do not have to "allow them to continue as is" unless an injunction is granted by the court. Richards is operating outside of the Code as far as I can tell.

 

4. To force Richards to cease operating as it is currently, the City of North Miami is not required to close other clubs or interfere with other clubs in any way. All of this can and would be addressed in a discrimination suit, however, that's probably 3 years or more away.

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My understanding is they were all "grandfathered" previously. I know at least one of the other clubs changed names (owners?) multiple times over the last 20-25 years. It operated as both a female strip club as well as a male strip club (males stripping for females). Would be interesting to know if it had ownership changes over the years.

 

Will have to see how this plays out. In the meantime I'm headed back to MIA next week to visit SR's again just in case they have to stop operating soon. I feel bad for the owners as it really is a lovely club inside.

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My understanding is they were all "grandfathered" previously. I know at least one of the other clubs changed names (owners?) multiple times over the last 20-25 years. It operated as both a female strip club as well as a male strip club (males stripping for females). Would be interesting to know if it had ownership changes over the years.

 

Will have to see how this plays out. In the meantime I'm headed back to MIA next week to visit SR's again just in case they have to stop operating soon. I feel bad for the owners as it really is a lovely club inside.

 

Obviously I am not privy to all of the details either. I agree with you though, it's a nice place, and I hate to see any businesses suffer in this economy. It seems like the owners here have attempted to keep a respectable club. It's a shame.

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I agree there is no way that the city can force only Swinging Richards to comply with the law and let the others continue to operate unaffected. The city must force all three to comply (and take the substantial tax revenue hit) or let them all continue as is. They may opt for the former....but even so need to explain why they let all the clubs operate outside of the law for many years. I'm no lawyer, but it seems North Miami Beach has created a mess for themselves.

 

It seems as though the City of Miami Beach is planning on enforcing this Code with all of the clubs. If this is the case, there really is no suit IMO. Looks like undies are going on, or drinks are headed out.

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It seems as though the City of Miami Beach is planning on enforcing this Code with all of the clubs. If this is the case, there really is no suit IMO. Looks like undies are going on, or drinks are headed out.

 

I agree there is no basis for a suit if they apply the rule to all of them. I am not aware of North Miami Beach's fiscal situation, but they stand to lose big tax revenue bucks if this goes through. I can't see the clubs staying open with these rules.

 

Any chance of an injunction?

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I agree there is no basis for a suit if they apply the rule to all of them. I am not aware of North Miami Beach's fiscal situation, but they stand to lose big tax revenue bucks if this goes through. I can't see the clubs staying open with these rules.

 

Any chance of an injunction?

 

I doubt that they stand a chance for an injunction, especially if the code is being enforce universally.

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If it turns out that the guys have to cover up, what are the exact rules on that? I know with the women the guidelines are very precise about what size pasties they can wear and what they can show, etc. Are there similar rules set out for the guys? Like what is the absolute minimum they have to wear? Are they allowed to get hard, as long as it's covered (would something like that even be talked about in an ordinance)??

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It doesnt sound like an anti-gay move if there telling all 3 clubs to stop selling.

 

"North Miami Beach blogger Stephanie Kienzle says she was told by a city official that all three strip clubs have been notified to stop selling liquor alongside naked dancers"

 

It is anti-gay. They never cared about the naked women, but they are willing to take the "collateral damage" to cover the homophobia.

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It is anti-gay. They never cared about the naked women, but they are willing to take the "collateral damage" to cover the homophobia.

I agree with BON on this. My understanding is that the city initially went after only SR's and then broadened the issue to also cover the female strip clubs once the lawsuit was filed and people were claiming discrimination. I wonder what the calculation is of the lost tax revenue the city will face and how they will make it up?

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Because NMB went afterSR first and only included the straight clubs once threatened by a possible discrimination lawsuit, it's easy to assume that this is an anti-gay action. But I have to wonder if there isn't something else going on. In Providence RI, the Strip Club Capital of New England, customers can never touch a girl. In Las Vegas, they'll let you do it on the sly, although the girl can get in trouble if caught. Let's be honest here, assuming that SR Miami operates like SR Atlanta, touching and a whole more goes on in those private cubicles whereas I'm guessing no such "extracurricular activities" are taking place at the straight titty bars. Perhaps what NMB takes issue with isn't the full Monty, but the private "dances."

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BSR,

I get your point, but I think a lot goes on in the str8 titty champagne rooms in Miami. Last time I was in such a place I was offered a BJ by the girl for price X....and I could cum in her mouth for price 2X. I declined on both accounts. What I don't know is if the same things are happening specifically at the str8 clubs in NMB.

 

To be honest, I could live with a situation where there is no nudity on stage, but that the lapdance room and champagne rooms are more liberal. I don't know if the law to be enforced will allow that.

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Guest dansjando

I can say from personal experience A LOT goes on in the champagne room. And the cops know, and don't seem to care. Many of them frequent the strip clubs. It's definitely not a war on strip clubs. Only the gay ones.

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I can say from personal experience A LOT goes on in the champagne room. And the cops know, and don't seem to care. Many of them frequent the strip clubs. It's definitely not a war on strip clubs. Only the gay ones.

 

Except that North Miami Beach is supposedly enforcing the same law on the straight clubs with women stripping. I'll be at SR's tomorrow night and try to find out what's going to happen.

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