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Attorney 1
Attorney 1, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Knowledgeable and Experienced Attorney.
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I have a business that i am looking to move i am curently in

Customer Question

I have a business that i am looking to move i am curently in clayton ga (city) and rabun county. I have had my business for 6 years. the area I am looking to move it just outside city limits so now county. i have a lingerie store and we have a back room carrying mags , dvds and novelties. nopw the copunty has a code regarding "adult entertainment ordinance" mainly regarding a dance club that went in. the code covers spots of video and mags. I just have a small room with assortment of products. you can see code at http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientID=14644&stateID=10&statename=Georgia seek adult then go to first link. my question is can i continue to sell what i carry and what if any are the limits. I believe i understand this to say there is a under 5% floor space rule and until i reach that amount then i could sell the products as lone as i do not advertise them, is this correct?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Attorney 1 replied 2 years ago.

Attorney 1 :

Hello, and welcome to JustAnswer! I am preparing your response. Please remain online for a few moments, so you can get your answer right away.

Attorney 1 :

Thank you for providing the code. I am looking it up now.

Attorney 1 :

According to the code, there are three ways to qualify as an adult bookstore, and thereby fall under the ordinance. One of this is 5%+ of floor space, so you would want to stay under that percentage. Anothor is by sales percentage. If your net sales from erotic materials if 5% of your total volume, or higher, the ordinance applies. The most difficult aspect of this ordinance, may be the portion that reads as follows:

Attorney 1 :

"an establishment having a substantial or significant portion of its stock in trade, books, magazines or other periodicals which are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas . . ."

Attorney 1 :

The problem is with the the phrase "significant portion of its stock . . ." as this leaves so much room for ambiguity. Technically, this portion of the statute, if challenged, might be able to be defeated on the basis of vagueness and ambiguity, as "significant" is not defined. There is nowhere to tell where the threshold is, but we do know it is somewhere below the 50% mark. There is also know way to know the measuring stick as it pertains to the term "portion" (i.e., is portion determined by weight, volume, price, etc.). That said, I do not recommend you become the person or entity that challenges the statute, because you will have nothing but trouble along the way.

Attorney 1 :

Here's my suggestion in light of the fact that you are facing a potentially no-win statute:

Customer :

another question if say the video or mags were not sold but given as a free item along with purchase of an item could that be possible to avoid or limit the 5% sales clause?

Customer :

because spacewise im good

Attorney 1 :

Contact the City Attorney's office, provide specifics of your business (volume, size, cost, selling price, etc.) and get a written opinion letter that will give you protection in the event you are challenged under the statute.

Attorney 1 :

Potentially, yes, but you have to avoid all three pitfalls. That's why an opinion letter as clearance, so to speak, is really the only way to get peace of mind in this situation.

Customer :

the ity attonery? the city does not have this ordinance its just the county

Customer :

sorry keyboard has bad buttons

Attorney 1 :

Let me check something. I'll be right back with you.

Customer :

wuls asking for such a letter not "red flag" the idea of the move thjen further later issue

Customer :

ty

Attorney 1 :

OK, thanks for waiting. You could still contact the City attorney's office for the letter, even though this is a county code. The reaason is that the City Attorney will be able to best advise on how the particular city interprets and enforces the code, and how it has done so in the past.

Customer :

i am moving the busienss due to the building that i am currently in being remodeled and just dont know that if i move the new location outside city limits or inside city limits would be best?, the one outside is better bigger and less rent but inside city i will not have the "issue" w ordinace as i currently do not have that issue....if this helps

Attorney 1 :

Letting them know that you are bringing revenue to their city and that you want to make sure you are in compliance will generate a reasonably good response time.

Customer :

i have had alot of cops stops at my store as well due to shoplifting and whatnot so they are fully aware of what all i cary

Attorney 1 :

You will certainly have an easier time if you stay within your city. You will also have a better chance of keeping your current customer base.

Customer :

so a city can have "their" rules and the bcouty of which the city is in have their own as well?

Attorney 1 :

It doesn't matter if the police know or not. This isn't their area, and their knowledge is not transferred to the powers that be for this particular matter. It is the City Attorney who will enforce the statute. Therefore, make sure that you get their clearance, or at least reasonable clarification as to policies, if you are going to move to the new city.

Attorney 1 :

Best of luck!

If you need more information, just let me know and I will be happy to continue to assist you.

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Customer :

i would simply being reloacting in the same city if stayed in city limits

Customer :

thank you for your help

Attorney 1 :

You are more than welcome.

Attorney 1 :

If you need help in the future, feel free to request me, directly, by beginning new questions with: “For Attorney 1”.

Customer :

ok ty

Attorney 1 :

.

Attorney 1 :

Oops, sorry, my keys need help, too.

Attorney 1 :

Good luck.

Customer :

another question this code doesnot mention anything regarding the novelties or "toys" did you see anything?

Attorney 1 :

Re: Videos -

Attorney 1 :

Adult video store means an establishment having a substantial or significant portion of its stock in trade videotapes or movies or other reproductions, whether for sale or rent, which are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas or an establishment with a segment or section, comprising five percent of its total floor space, devoted to the sale or display of such material or which derives more than five percent of its net sales from videos which are characterized or distinguished by their emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas.

Attorney 1 :

While not specifically mentioned, novelties are presumed included by the "statement of purpose" which reads, in pertinent part, as follows:

Attorney 1 :

"The purpose of this article is to regulate certain types of businesses, including, but not limited to, adult entertainment establishments . . ."

Attorney 1 :

Best of luck!

If you need more information, just let me know and I will be happy to continue to assist you.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­__________________________________________________________________

If I have answered your question, please remember to click “ACCEPT.”

Clicking the green “ACCEPT” button will not cause you to incur any additional expense, and it is the only way that an expert gets paid for providing assistance, even if you have made a deposit or have a monthly subscription.

I leave Positive feedback for all accepted answers.

Positive feedback helps customers get quick responses to future questions.

If you would like to request my assistance for future questions, please begin the question with "FOR ATTORNEY 1".

____________________________________________________________________

This communication contains general information, only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice. Information provided herein is not intended to replace a detailed legal consultation, and does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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