November 13, 2002 06:52pm
Maryland's Highest Court Dismisses Nightclub Prosecution
Source: Marks & Katz, LLC Attorneys at Law
by: Company Press Release
(SILVER SPRING, MD) -- Maryland's highest court has reinstated the dismissal of a prosecution alleging the display of full nudity at the Showcase Theater, an exotic cabaret in Beltsville, Maryland. The case is State of Maryland v. Taylor, et AL. (www.courts.state.md.us/opinions/coa/2002/124a00.pdf).
This prosecution started in 1999, when police in Swat-team gear raided the Showcase Theater for allegedly violating Prince George's County's ban on full nudity in public. Once they got their day in court, the defendants convinced the trial judge that the case should not proceed further, because the Showcase is not a public place under the governing law, and because the Constitution protects nude dancing.
The prosecutor then filed an appeal with the Circuit Court, despite the defendants' complaints that an appeal was barred by their double jeopardy rights against being tried twice for the same criminal accusation. The Circuit Court disagreed, heard spirited arguments on appeal, and sent the case back to be set for trial.
The defendants then successfully sought out their final hope for victory by obtaining leave to appeal to the Maryland Court of Appeals, which is Maryland's highest court. The defendants, through their attorney Jonathan L. Katz, argued that the defendants' double jeopardy rights prevented the prosecutor's original appeal and required the reinstatement of the original dismissal of the prosecution. He also reiterated the defendants' arguments that led to the original dismissal of the prosecution.
The Maryland Court of Appeals heard arguments on the case in late August 2002, and showed tremendous interest in the defendants' claim that the initial case dismissal prevented any trial, even though no witnesses had yet been sworn in against the defendants.
On November 12, 2002 -- over three years after the original raid on the Showcase -- a four to three majority of the Court of Appeals ruled in the defendants' favor, and ordered the reinstatement of the original dismissal of the prosecution. The three dissenters took strong exception to this ruling, where no witnesses had even testified before the case was dismissed.
The defendants' lawyer, Jonathan L. Katz, said: "This case is not only a vindication for the Showcase Theater, but it also tells prosecutors not to bring appeals that they have no right bringing in the first place."
For Further Information, Contact:
Jonathan L. Katz
Criminal Defense Lawyer for the Defendants
Marks & Katz, LLC Attorneys at Law
1400 Spring Street, Suite 410
Silver Spring, Md 20910
Tel: (301) 495-4300
Fax: (301) 495-8815