Moratorium Upheld, But Judge Yet To Rule On Peep Show Law

September 04, 1991|By Paul Shread | Paul Shread,Staff writer

A county moratorium on new peep show licenses has withstood a court challenge.

Annapolis Road Books in Odenton had asked U.S. DistrictJudge Frederic N. Smalkin to overturn the moratorium. Smalkin refused, ruling last week that the temporary moratorium wouldn't cause the store "immediate, irreparable injury."

"It's a positive decision for the county," County Deputy AttorneyDavid Plymyer said.

But Smalkin has yet to rule on the constitutionality of the county's law regulating peep shows. Annapolis Road Books and 2020 News in Parole filed suit last month challenging the law,which requires businesses to obtain a "Class Y" license to show adult videos.

Annapolis Roads attorney William Seekford said the store's owners will continue their court challenge.

Annapolis Road Books and 2020 News had been showing peep shows without a Class Y licensewhen the county cracked down on the two businesses last month.

The Odenton store agreed to stop showing the videos until it obtained alicense. But 2020 News refused, so the county filed suit in Circuit Court to halt the store's peep shows until it obtains a license.

Plymyer said Annapolis Road Books could reopen the peep shows and force the county to take the owners to court, but Seekford said he would advise his clients not to reopen.

The County Council approved the moratorium last month. Council members Edward Middlebrooks, D-Severn,and David Boschert, D-Crownsville, proposed it after two businesses in Glen Burnie and Odenton applied for licenses to show peep shows.

Those two businesses dropped plans to show adult videos because of community opposition, although the Glen Burnie store opened recently as an adult book store.

The moratorium gives the county until Dec.1 to develop new guidelines regulating peep shows. Plymyer said a committee will meet next week to begin drafting the law. He said a proposal could be ready for the council and the county administration later this month.

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