JEFFERSONVILLE — A Clark County judge has issued orders in an ongoing civil case between an adult business and the Town of Clarksville, with both sides coming away with something in their favor.
Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 Judge Vicki Carmichael issued two orders Tuesday in a case involving Theatair X, one stating that she is without authority at this time to enforce the more than $270,000 in fines issued by the town in the fall, since there is an appeal related to that portion of the case. However, she issued findings supporting the later collection of fines, including that the ordinance establishing the regulations adopted by the Clarksville Town Council last summer is valid, despite Theatair X attorneys previously questioning its legality.
It also states that both Midwest Entertainment Ventures, which owns and operates the adult theater, and AMW Investments, the property owner, are liable for the same sanctions if there is noncompliance with the ordinance. Fines for the offenses, passed by separate ordinance by the town in July, include $2,500 for each initial violation and $7,500 per day for each subsequent violation. The town maintains that the business was in violation from Oct. 4 to Nov. 29.
The civil action was initiated in 2019 as an administrative appeal by owners of the business after the Clarksville Town Council voted to uphold a business license revocation based on alleged ordinance violations.
The case has since evolved, and most recently has centered around an ordinance passed by the Clarksville Town Council in June, while the appeals case was ongoing. That ordinance regulates adult businesses, of which Theatair X is one of two in town, and includes that such a business would not be allowed to remain open between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., and must have an interior configuration which allows a direct line of sight from the manager’s station to all public areas of the business, except restrooms.
This regulation is pertinent to Theatair X in that the business has operated with both private viewing booths and a larger theater area within the premises. Carmichael also found that Midwest Entertainment Ventures and AMW Investments, the property owner, were not in contempt of court when they were reported by private investigators to have taken a week to comply with a preliminary injunction issued Nov. 21 ordering that they not operate without the “direct line of sight” provision of the ordinance.
The orders this week may open room for attorneys to now get back to the initial issue, the administrative appeal to the business license revocation.