Voyeur Dorm Case Not Applicable in Miami?

In Miami demands end to home-based porn site, the Miami Herald says that the City of Miami's code enforcement board wasn't very impressed by the 11th Circuit's Voyeur Dorm, L.C. v. City Of Tampa, Florida precedent:

After 10 hours of listening to evidence and arguments, Miami's code enforcement board ruled late Monday night that Phillip Bleicher's Flava Works, an Internet porn production and distribution company, is illegally running an adult entertainment business out of a single-family home at 503 NE 27th St., zoned for residential use, and ordered that those operations cease.

“I think the city has met its burden of showing a link between the house on 27th Street and the website,” board member Oscar Rodriguez Fonts said before moving to deny a motion, made by Flava Works' attorney James Benjamin, to dismiss citations posted by city code inspectors in May.

The city claims that there is a material difference between the Miami ordinance and Tampa City Code 27-523, the one in the Voyeur Dorm case. That case turned on a very particular reading of the Tampa code's prohibition on offering adult entertainment “to the public”:

The residence of 2312 West Farwell Drive provides no “offer[ing] [of adult entertainment] to members of the public.” The offering occurs when the videotaped images are dispersed over the internet and into the public eye for consumption. The City Code cannot be applied to a location that does not, itself, offer adult entertainment to the public.

Miami took the view that its rules were materially different:

“Miami's adult entertainment ordinance encompasses Internet activity in a way the Tampa ordinance did not,” Rodriguez Fonts said.

Not having the text of the Miami ordinance, I have to admit that's certainly possible. It's also possible that the same considerations the controlled in the Voyeur Dorm case might apply here.

Either way, unless it is blindingly obvious, it sounds like a possible student note topic to me.

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3 Responses to Voyeur Dorm Case Not Applicable in Miami?

  1. Alex H. says:

    I hope you’ll keep us up to date :). It sounds like the ordinance is still a zoning ordinance for “adult businesses,” and so I don’t see how the 1st Am. issue changes. They would have to show that ‘”‘Dorm Dude’ Breion” walking up to a house and punching a code represents some kind of significant secondary negative effects on the surrounding community… Or maybe I’m missing something.

  2. Marc says:

    If those cases were around when I was a student, my law review note would’ve certainly been published in a major journal and I’d now be hire-able at Michael’s school.

  3. Marc says:

    If those cases were around when I was a student, my law review note would’ve certainly been published in a major journal and I’d now be hire-able at Michael’s school.

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