Court Rules Against Bikini Baristas, For City Of Everett

July 3, 2019


Grab N Go

This stand attracted a lot of attention on Evergreen Way back in 2011 but has since closed.

Today the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the City of Everett can enforce “Dress Code Rules” and amendments to Lewd Conduct Ordinances where a lower court had issued an injunction. From the summary:

The panel held that plaintiffs did not show a likelihood of success on the merits of their two Fourteenth Amendment void-for-vagueness challenges, nor on their First Amendment free expression claim. Concerning the Lewd Conduct Ordinances, which expanded the definition of “lewd act” and also created the misdemeanor offense of Facilitating Lewd Conduct, the panel held that the activity the Lewd Contact Amendments prohibited was reasonably ascertainable to a person of ordinary intelligence. The panel also held that the Amendments were not amenable to unchecked law enforcement discretion. The panel concluded that the district court abused its discretion by holding that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their void-for-vagueness challenge to the Amendments.

You can read the complete court ruling here.

This afternoon the City of Everett released the following statement.

The City of Everett is grateful for the Ninth Circuit’s careful and thorough consideration of this case as reflected in its ruling today dissolving the preliminary injunction against enforcement of the City’s lewd conduct and dress code ordinances. The Court’s opinion recognized the significant issues that the City has faced and the practical reality of regulating these businesses. The court also concluded that the baristas were overall unlikely to succeed in their case against the City going forward.

As the decision acknowledges, the City adopted these ordinances to address criminal and other harmful conduct that has occurred at bikini barista stands over many years. The Court confirmed that the City had offered “extensive evidence of adverse secondary effects associated with the stands, including prostitution and sexual violence….”

As the records examined and referenced by the court show, many members of the community have been significantly impacted by these businesses, and some of the baristas themselves that have been victimized by stand owners and customers.

The City looks forward to enforcing its ordinances consistent with the Court’s decision and in the best interest of the community.

About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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