The owner of Fullerton's only adult bookstore went to court Monday in an attempt to block restrictions on the store's hours of operation.
The Fantasy Shoppe, 410 S. Harbor Blvd., asserts in its Superior Court action that an ordinance passed by the Fullerton City Council will force it to close at midnight and not open for business on Sundays.
The restrictions violate the right of the owner, Brock Inc., to freedom of expression and do not apply to any other businesses, according to bookstore lawyer Roger Jon Diamond.
Police Requested Ordinance
The ordinance, passed Nov. 4, was requested by Fullerton police, who believed that the 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week operation of the store was serving as a magnet for crime, according to Sgt. Tony H. Hernandez, who heads the vice division.
Undercover police officers have made several arrests for solicitation and lewd acts because of conduct inside the bookstore, Hernandez said.
"It is a typical adult bookstore and arcade," Diamond said. "Minors 17 and under are not permitted to enter, and they sell material to consenting adults. Bars can stay open till 2 in the morning, so people can get loaded and drive and kill people--but here, nobody comes out drunk."
Under the restrictions, the store would be allowed to operate 84 hours a week, Fullerton City Atty. Rector K. (Kerry) Fox said.
"It's simple and straightforward," Fox said. "It's a dirty bookstore and peep show. We have had a lot of crime problems in the area, and they're right next to a residential area. They have a right to some peace and quiet."
Fox said controlling crime "is the only thing" the city's new ordinance is designed to accomplish.
While Fox contended that similar ordinances have been approved by the courts, Diamond claimed that the measure is unconstitutional because it applies only to one business: the bookstore.
"I feel confident that the city cannot pass special legislation to try to shut down this particular arcade," Diamond said. "They're trying to hurt the business economically. It's just an irritant. They'll make less money, and they'll pay less taxes."