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October 30, 2014

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Swinger blocked from operating sex club gets another day in court

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Steve Marcus

David Cooper, who was denied a business license for Sextasy, his swinger’s club in Commercial Center, talks with his attorney Lisa Rasmussen before an eviction hearing in District Court in Las Vegas on Aug. 15, 2008. Cooper says the county has singled him out.

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A business owner who said he was improperly denied a business license to open a swingers club in a Las Vegas shopping center will get a second chance to make his case after a federal court ordered Monday that his lawsuit against Clark County be reheard.

David Cooper sued Clark County in U.S. District Court in 2010 after he was denied a license to run a “high-end” swingers club, dubbed Sextasy, at the Commercial Center shopping mall on Sahara Avenue near Maryland Parkway.

Although sex clubs are considered a public nuisance and are illegal under county code, Cooper applied for a restaurant license because he said he intended to serve food at the facility.

In a letter denying the application, the county stated that Cooper had made “false and misleading statements” and didn’t meet the criteria for the license.

Cooper maintained he met all of the county’s requirements for the license and that he was unfairly and arbitrarily singled out for denial, violating his due process rights.

In the lawsuit, Cooper noted that several other adult-oriented businesses, including sex clubs, have operated at the same shopping center without similar interference from the county.

The district court initially dismissed Cooper’s case on a variety of grounds, but on Monday the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the lower court erred in several of its findings.

In its ruling, the appeals court noted that “it is plausible that Clark County denied Cooper a license to which he had a legitimate claim,” although it did not issue a formal opinion on the case, instead leaving it to the district court.

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  1. I make no judgment about the merits of the "sex" clubs application, but its problem highlights how capricious government can be when deciding who may or may not be granted "permission" to open a business or, in an overbearing fascist manner, even gain employment. Favoritism plays a large part in who does or does not get contracts, approvals and other governmental "goodies." That's just one of the reasons I am against "Big Brother," regardless of political affiliation. And, in spite of their pious denials, they all play favorites, look more favorably and grant easy access towards big contributors then they do the "small" guy."

  2. LVFacts - you are spot on in your observation/critic.

    Grant Gov't too much authority and you'll find yourself on the wrong end of that authority - it will happen.

    Now, I'll be a bit more political. Not too long ago - I remember Fox News up in arms about private Bradley Manning and his disclosure of national security information. Fox News called it treason and subject to the death penalty. They wanted Gov't to have zero tolerance because - afterall, it is national security! To tolerate such disclosures is unpatriotic and un-American!

    Fast forward to today, we have a Fox News reporter who is accused of being a conspirator with a U.S. Gov't contractor who disclosed national security information. Now, Fox calls foul. Their defense? "It is a legitimate purpose." Laughable!

    On issues of law - when people talked about Miranda rights - due process - unreasonable Gov't search and seizure - conservatives were up in arms about such protections. They granted Gov't the benefit of doubt in their search warrants - they scoffed at the idea of due process and Miranda rights.

    Now, Gov't is the bad guy for searching you when a gun is at issue. Gov't has no right to take your guns (seizure), question you on your selling guns, etc.

    More interesting is the issue on death penalty - Conservatives always talk about smaller Gov't and liberty - yet this group is the first to not only support but encourage Gov't in executing her own citizens. Flabbergasting!

    When Gov't is on your side - you seek to strengthen it - when it is NOT on your side - you seek to weaken it.

  3. "Although sex clubs are considered a public nuisance and are illegal under county code, Cooper applied for a restaurant license because he said he intended to serve food at the facility. . . . .Cooper maintained he met all of the county's requirements for the license and that he was unfairly and arbitrarily singled out for denial, violating his due process rights."

    What a stupid county code. Consenting adults doing what they want to do with each other behind closed doors -- so long as no one gets hurt -- government has no legitimate purpose demanding to be their nursemaids by requiring licensing or any other control.

    "I make no judgment about the merits of the "sex" clubs application, but its problem highlights how capricious government can be when deciding who may or may not be granted "permission" to open a business or, in an overbearing fascist manner, even gain employment."

    lvfacts -- I'm in your corner with this one. What about the many, many Clark County low-end workers who have to get work cards?? ACLU, where are you for that one??

    "On issues of law - when people talked about Miranda rights - due process - unreasonable Gov't search and seizure - conservatives were up in arms about such protections. They granted Gov't the benefit of doubt in their search warrants - they scoffed at the idea of due process and Miranda rights."

    unlv -- you were making good points until you degenerated to the usual labels. If insisting governments and their many, many agents not act beyond Constitutional limits labels one a conservative, then in that regard it's what I am. Do try to make your future posts without those ridiculous labels!

    "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Isaac H Tiffany (1819)

  4. Sex in Vegas. What a shock!

  5. Ohhhh C'mon maaaaannn. Mr. Cooper went about it all wrong, he didn't pay off the right people to pave the way from the onset of his buisiness venture, lesson learned.