Freedom of Speech is one of the most fundamental principles upon which our Country was built. Introduced by the Founding Fathers in the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution, it contains no ambiguity. Paid for in blood, by thousands of fellow Americans who fought and died so that future generations could possess, cherish, and pass this gift on, it has been vital to the past, present and future of our Great Nation. Yet, in present days it has become one of the most controversial issues and subjects for interpretation.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Residents Gather to Fight Adult Store Project

By: AVN Media Network

Posted: 12:00 AM PST Aug 28, 2006

Residents in this newly incorporated city gathered Thursday to discuss ways to stop an adult novelty store from opening.
An estimated 900 residents rallied at Chattahoochee High School to outline plans to stop the owners of the Love Shack from opening a 10,000-square-foot store here, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
Mayor-designate Mike Bodker vowed to keep the store from opening and to help develop regulations aimed at adult businesses in the new city, which was formed last month after a referendum.
John Cornetta, who owns the Love Shack chain of stores, is apparently prepared, having sued Fulton County earlier this month for denying a business license for the proposed store. Cornetta argued that the county should give him a regular business permit because his proposed store would have less than 25 percent of its merchandise would be considered adult products.But the county said he must still apply for an adult entertainment business license.
As it is, Bodker said the new Johns Creek City Council will make it a priority to pass a series of regulations aimed at adult businesses. He told the newspaper that he is working on measures that define obscenity, adult entertainment, zoning adult businesses and on a measure to ban alcohol from adult establishments.
Republican state Rep. Mark Burkhalter is also developing legislation aimed at re-establishing Georgia’s obscenity law.
During the meeting, one woman suggested locals fill up the store’s parking lot and take pictures of patrons to dissuade customers from going there.
But another man said he was leery of local government banning any type of business, suggesting that the city would then be in charge of also enforcing morality on its citizens.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

11th Circuit Judge to Hear Arguments in Love Shack Case

11th Circuit Judge to Hear Arguments in Love Shack Case
Store continues battle against Fulton County

By Eddie Adams

Posted: 12:56 PM PST Aug 15, 2007

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – The 11th Circuit Court has decided to hear oral arguments in the longstanding case between John Cornetta's Love Shack store and Fulton County, after the shop recently filed an appeal in the case. The decision comes after the newly-incorporated city of Johns Creek denied Cornetta's business license application for The Love Shack.

“They denied our injunction, but the judge did not give Fulton County the lock and key to completely shut the door on this case, so to speak,” attorney Cary Wiggins — who is representing Cornetta in the case, along with Louis Sirkin — told AVN. “We were denied, but we had the opportunity to appeal.”

According to Cornetta, the court could have made a number of decisions on The Love Shack’s appeal. “The court could have decided not to hear it at all, decided that they would read all pleadings and make a decision, or read all of the pleadings after being briefed by the parties during oral arguments.

“The reason that is the best [decision for us is] because it means that they have decided to hear the case. They wanted more then just the written pleadings and at the very least they think there is a case in controversy,” continued Cornetta. “It doesn't mean they are on our side or Fulton County’s, it just means they are interested and want to know more.”

Oral arguments in the case are set for Nov. 14.

According to Wiggins, only 25 percent of cases are chosen for oral arguments, so he sees the judge’s decision as a positive development in the case.

“This case deals with questions of law and not questions of fact,” explained Wiggins. “In the case of questions of fact, an appeal will fall flat because the judge doesn’t want to turn around and disagree with a jury decision. With questions of law, you leave it up to the predilections of a judge…there are no definite answers.”

The town of Johns Creek has now filed its own lawsuit against The Love Shack in state court.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ga. Strip Club Petitions Supreme Court

Ga. Strip Club Petitions Supreme Court
Another Legal Battle for Love Shack Owner Cornetta

By Eddie Adams, AVN Media Network

Posted: 4:05 PM PST Aug 14, 2007

MACON, Ga. - A local strip club which was forced to shutter its doors by the county has filed a petition to argue its case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Club Exotica closed three years ago, after the county pulled its liquor license. Lawyers for the club filed the Supreme Court petition July 30.
The legal battle between the county and Club Exotica goes all the way back to 2001, when the club, which was run at the time by John Cornetta and Cornetta Enterprises, applied for a liquor license. The two have fought at almost every court level since that time.
Officials raided the club in 2003, arresting 16 dancers. Controversial adult businessman Cornetta hired lawyers for all of them; two were later acquitted, and the charges dropped against the rest.
“This has been a weird case from the beginning, in a bit of a backwards town, “Cornetta told AVN. “The people here have vowed against nude dancing at all costs. After the raid, we were basically forced out of business. Patrons were completely intimidated.”
Bibb County Commissioner Bert Bivins told the Macon Telegraph that the county was trying to close the club at the time because they felt it was, "not operating in good faith or in the best interests of the community."
Cornetta and his lawyers are now questioning the police investigation, and Sheriff Jerry Modena and the Bibb County Sheriff's Office were operating as an "arm of the state" when they raided the club. “What we’re asking here is if someone has the right to do whatever they want, without warrants, without a grand jury…and if so, that’s pretty scary.”
The appeal will deal heavily with the 11th Amendment, which prevents state officials from being sued in federal court for actions they took during the course of their duties.
According to the Macon Telegraph, if authorities and the state were acting as an arm of the state — that is, if they were enforcing state laws during their actions against the club — the sheriff's office has immunity in federal court under the Constitution and cannot be prosecuted for carrying out their duties.
“This decision could effect adult entertainment venues across the board, because people shouldn’t be allowed to just start kicking down doors because they see fit,” said Cornetta. “If we’re successful, this could make authorities think twice before they start doing these things without creating a case against someone.”
The Supreme Court can now either reject or accept the case, and possibly reverse the previous rulings against Club Exotica.
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed on this one,” said Cornetta. “We’re optimistic because we know that this is an issue that the circuits are split on. We think we’ve got a good chance here.”