HOUSTON (Legal Newsline) – An adult entertainment venue is suing the city of Houston alleging that it is harmed because its competitors are immune to certain city rules regarding touch between entertainers and customers.
My Entertainment LLC, doing business as Paradise City, filed a complaint on Oct. 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas against the city of Houston alleging conspiracy, violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, violation of the Clayton Act, unlawful exclusive dealing, violation of Robinson-Patman Act, violation of Equal Protection Clause and other counts.
The plaintiff alleges it is a business entity formed to operate an adult entertainment-style of club without the display of human anatomy (it calls itself a bikini bar on its website). The plaintiff alleges that the city unlawfully permits only a select handful of adult entertainment establishments to operate with immunity from city ordinances regarding "no touch" and "3 feet" rules. The suit states this immunity stemmed from a 2013 settlement between 16 adult entertainment establishments and the city.
"(P)laintiff is in direct competition with the clubs that are unfair beneficiaries of the exemptions included in the agreement. Unless plaintiff is allowed to join the agreement with defendant, plaintiff is harmed and will continue to be significantly harmed because its competitors are not subject to enforcement of the city ordinances," the suit states.
The plaintiff alleges the settlement agreement is unlawful, unfair and anticompetitive.
The plaintiff is seeking attorneys' fees, court costs, interest and just relief. The plaintiff is represented by Nelson T. Hensley of Hensley and Krueger in Houston.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas case number 4:19-CV-03822