Exxxotica, Dallas Face Off in Federal Court

Apr 18, 2016 1:37 PM PST

DALLAS — Attorneys for Exxxotica and the City of Dallas on Monday squared off at federal court in Dallas over the adult entertainment exhibition’s motion for preliminary injunction.

Exxxotica, which has its sights on a three-day event May 20-22, is seeking approval for an injunction against Dallas, which refused to sign a new contract at the municipal convention center for the event.

Today, U.S. District Judge Sidney A Fitzwater heard 1 hour, 20 minutes of proceedings before opposing sides and will follow up with a written order on the motion.

The proceedings included attorney appearances from Exxxotica counsel Roger Albright and J. Michael Murray, along with lawyers for the City of Dallas — Thomas Brandt, Scott Bergthold, Prerak Shah and Will Thompson.

Dallas’ argument in today’s proceedings focused on claims that the convention center is not a public forum and that the city can grant and deny access to the venue as it sees fit to further its commercial interests.

The city’s attorneys also claim that city officials said they found evidence of public lewdness at its first and last event at the convention center in August.

Further, Dallas’ lawyers said that the city is justified in refusing to continue to do business with Exxxotica based on its “unlicensed operation” as a sexually oriented business.  Attorneys for the city claim Exxxotica should be banned from the convention center by statute, because the hall is less than 1,000 feet from a school.

The city also claims that Exxxotica doesn't have "clean hands" with the motion for a preliminary injunction because ownership of the event had included numerous business names but none were filed with the state.

Handy's lawyers, however, have all along countered that the blacklisting of Exxxotica, amounts to prior restraint and that the convention center is a public forum because the city allows all groups to use it. Further, they said, temporary uses are not subject to the city’s sexually oriented business ordinance.

Albright, just prior to today’s hearing at Dallas federal court, told XBIZ that the city’s argument to put on hold an injunction is flawed.

“No official with either the City of Dallas or the Kay Bailey Convention Center has ever asserted that plaintiff breached its contract,” Albright told XBIZ. “Not during the August convention, not during the city’s post-convention review in September and October, which instead resulted in the Kay Bailey inviting [Exxxotica] back for May and not in the City Council meeting where the resolution was passed. 

The decision to ban Exxxotica was “a resolution not based on breach of contract or failure to be licensed as a sexually oriented business but rather a resolution based on [Exxxotica] planning to conduct a three-day adult event.”

According to the Dallas Observer, Exxxotic’s chief organizer, J. Handy, said if the expo is going to pull off Exxxotica Dallas 2016 with its originally proposed May dates they need a ruling on the temporary injunction from Fitzwater this week.

The Observer noted that Exxxotica could change dates for a Dallas show, but it has no plans to seek out a different Texas city, or a different Dallas venue, to host his expo.

Fitzwater hasn't indicated when he will decide on the motion for preliminary injunction.

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