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US: Federal Judge rules in favor of strip club in antitrust case

 |  February 19, 2018

On Friday, February 16, a federal judge ruled that Houston arbitrarily refused to let a strip club join a settlement authorizing topless lap dances, and blasted the city for pursuing a court order that forced the club to shut down.

Fantasy Plaza filed a federal antitrust lawsuit on February 1, the same day as the state temporary restraining order hearing that led to its closure, claiming the city is effectively taking bribes from 16 clubs that signed on to a 2013 settlement that puts competing clubs at a disadvantage.

The settlement exempts those clubs from having to get operating licenses from the city, and exempts their dancers from a no-touch rule, allowing them to perform topless lap dances.

At a hearing on Friday in the federal case, Fantasy Plaza’s attorney Albert Van Huff told US District Judge Lynn Hughes that the city has twice denied the club’s request to join the settlement. “Were you given any explanation?” Hughes asked.

“Only that the new administration did not want to allow additional clubs to enter the agreement, is what I heard from the city,” Van Huff said, citing the administration of Mayor Sylvester Turner, who took office in January 2016.

Full Content: Courthouse News Service

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