November 19, 2001 03:43pm
Rick's Challenges Minneapolis' Attempts to Shut Topless Nightspot
Source: Rick's Cabaret
by: Company Press Release
(MINNEAPOLIS, MN) -- First Amendment attorney Randall Tigue said today that new attempts by the City of Minneapolis to shut down early morning entertainment at Rick's Cabaret, a topless nightspot on South Third Street, are "both vindictive and foolish. "
"Despite the fact that the city has lost three legal cases on the same issue, it persists in spending taxpayer dollars to try to get the courts to enforce its own version of morality," according to Randall Tigue, the attorney representing Rick's Cabaret International, Inc., a publicly traded Texas company [NASDAQ: RICK] that operates the upscale night spot. He added: "To try to shut us down, the city has resorted to repealing its own flawed ordinances in a vindictive and foolish attempt to infringe on our rights."
Until its repeal last month, a Minneapolis ordinance allowed central business district nightspots to stay open from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. to provide entertainment but not to serve liquor. The present legal battle stems from an application to operate in the wee hours submitted in December 1998 by Rick's Cabaret. The city took no action on the application for a year, so the company filed suit in December 1999 challenging both the ordinance and the application process as unconstitutional. It sought damages of more than $1 million in lost revenue.
Attorneys for Rick's Cabaret obtained a temporary injunction from Hennepin County District Court Judge Marilyn Rosenbaum that permits topless performances to continue until 3 a.m., despite the repeal of the ordinance. The city has now taken the case to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
"How many times does the city want to get hit over the head with a two-by-four on this same issue before giving up its attempts to regulate the morality of our citizens and visitors?" asked Mr. Tigue. "The city is desperately trying to salvage something from its earlier defeats by appealing to the State Court of Appeals even though it has been told by the courts repeatedly since the 1980s that its laws and administrative policies are unconstitutional."
Mr. Tigue said that in addition to being slapped with an injunction in the initial Rick's lawsuit for sitting on a license application for over a year, the city has lost two other cases. In Alexander v. Bergquist, decided in 1987, the court declared that the city's theater and place of entertainment licensing ordinances were unconstitutional because they permitted the city to holdup license applications indefinitely; and in Mga Susu, Inc. v. City of Minneapolis, decided in 1996, the District Court issued an injunction against the city in another licensing application case involving a nude dance club, the 418 Club.
About Rick's Cabaret:
Rick's Cabaret International Inc. [www.ricks.com] opened its first Rick's Cabaret in Houston in 1983 and went public in 1995. It is the only publicly traded company in the topless entertainment business. Rick's owns and operates premier adult entertainment Internet Web sites, including the leading adult products auction sites under the flagship www.naughtybids.com, and entertainment sites including www.DancerDorm.com and www.xxxpassword.com. Rick's owns and/or operates four Rick's Cabaret locations in Houston and Minneapolis, and two XTC Cabarets located in San Antonio and Austin.
Forward Looking Statements:
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Important factors that could cause the company's actual results to differ materially from those indicated in this press release include the risks and uncertainties related to the growth of Rick's Internet operations, the future operational strength its partners, the growth of Rick's cabaret operations, the laws governing the operation of adult entertainment businesses, competitive factors, dependence on key personnel and the ability to manage operations. Rick's has no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of future events or circumstances.
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