Nude dancing is back in Lubbock County. Late Thursday afternoon, Federal Judge Sam Cummings ruled that the Boom Boom Cabaret, Fantasy Theatre, and C & L Bookstore will be allowed to continue operating as sexually oriented businesses pending the outcome of litigation against the three establishments. This means for the first time since January, dancers can be nude at the Boom Boom Cabaret.
Judge Cummings writes in his order that timing is an issue for all three businesses. Specifically, the amount of time they have to correct any errors on renewal applications. The county started requiring sexually oriented business permits in 1995. According to court records, these three businesses were in operation before that, so they were grand-fathered in and allowed to continue operations... But to do so, they've had to fill out the appropriate applications every two years. Last year, the county denied all three businesses' applications because each application had discrepancies, and Judge Cummings writes they may not have been given enough time to try and correct those errors.
Boom Boom Cabaret Attorney David Guinn says, "The guts of what a lot of this case is about is the tricky little time scheme they created when someone can apply for a license. How long the county can take to tell them whether they were denying or not. You didn't find out about your permit being denied until it was too late."
Guinn tells us they haven't found any evidence that sexually oriented businesses are being targeted. He says it could be a coincidence that certain regulations are being enforced, seemingly all at once, but he says either way, some of the rules are not constitutional.
This does not mean these businesses are free and clear. Thursday's court order only allows them to keep their permits until a final decision is made on the current lawsuits in federal court.
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