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A new strip club that was planning on opening in the same spot as a closed down strip club recently filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana when the City of Fort Wayne refused to allow the new club to open.
While the city's ordinances clearly would prohibit the strip club from opening in the disputed location, the location had been "grandfathered" in. However, when renovations ran long after a change in ownership, the city refused to honor the prior exemption, claiming it expired after a year of non-use.
The new club, having put a significant sum of money into renovations, seems to rest a significant amount of weight on a "that's just not fair" argument. Supposedly, another strip club in the city had closed for a nearly a year and half between a change in ownership and due to renovations, but was allowed to open again as a grandfathered in strip club.
Additionally, allegedly, the new club's owners attempted to contact the city shortly before the one year expiration to get inspections so as to be allowed to open, but were ignored.
Naturally, the lawsuit also challenges the city's ordinance on First Amendment grounds, given the nature of the adult-entertainment business and the motivation behind ordinances restricting adult-entertainment businesses.
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