City Attorney Says L.A. Can't Enforce Condoms on Set

Apr 12, 2011 2:30 PM PST

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's office has recommended to City Council to leave language regulating permitted porn shoots unchanged because it lacks jurisdiction to control them further.

"It is the opinion of this office that the current permit language covers the use of condoms on all permitted adult film sets to the extent that the city may legally do so," according to a letter sent to councilmembers last month from deputy City Attorney Kimberly Miera and obtained by XBIZ.

"Based on the current permit language, along with the jurisdictional concerns in regulating workplace safety issues, our office recommends the permit language remain unchanged."

In February, City Council unanimously voted to instruct the city attorney to investigate mandatory condom use in porn movies. Councilmembers in December, with the insistence from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, introduced a motion that would require production companies to have performers wear condoms in order to receive film permits.  

While a City Council committee slated the issue for discussion today, the advisory to city leaders from the City Attorneys office will likely deaden the measure that was first introduced by Councilman Bill Rosendahl.

In the letter, the City Attorney's office said that while the LAPD has the authority to revoke adult film permits in the event the conditions of the permit are breached, "as a practical matter, due to issues of preemption and the high level of staffing that would be required, it is doubtful the City of Los Angeles can actively enforce the wearing of condoms on adult film sets."

The City Attorney's office also noted that the city is  preempted from enforcing the use of condoms on adult film sets.

"As it presently stands, the city does not have a public health office or officer, and has delegated those functions to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health," the City Attorney said in its opinion.

The "Department of Public Health, however, indicates that it is Cal-OSHA, and not the city or county, that sets forth and enforces standards for workplace health and safety in reference to acute communicable disease control."

The City Attorney's office said that the issue of regulating porn shoots has been heard in council chambers as late as March 2005 in response to two adult film performers testing positive for HIV. But a resolution "ultimately died in committee." 

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