X-Mart keeps up fight in new suit

  • Follow Metro

The business that wants to be Augusta's only adult video store has sued the city.

Again.

This time, Augusta Video, the owners of the licensed trade name X Mart Adult Supercenter, allege the city violated the First Amendment and selectively enforced its city code and licensing rules unlawfully.

The business also contends it is entitled to damages and attorneys fees, previously estimated in the $4 million to $6 million range.

The newest federal lawsuit was filed July 16 in U.S. District Court.

X-Mart's owners have been fighting the city since 2002 to open an adult video store at its 1367 Gordon Highway site.

In September, the business owners won an appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The court ruled the store is entitled to grandfather status as far as zoning requirements are concerned. The city had used zoning as the issue to keep X-Mart out.

Last month, X-Mart owners attempted to obtain a business tax certificate and adult entertainment permit.

They were turned down based on the city's contention that X-Mart would be in violation of the licensing rule that restricts where adult entertainment businesses can be located.

The lawsuit accuses the city of ignoring the authority of the federal appeals court.

The city's denial is "not based on content-neutral laws or policies but is instead motivated solely by a disagreement with the message of human sexuality," the lawsuit reads in part.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

X-MART THROUGH THE YEARS


JUNE 2002: Planning commission recommends zoning exception to allow X-Mart to open, but city commissioners refuse.


JULY 2002: X-Mart files federal lawsuit, alleging city adult entertainment code is unconstitutional.


JULY 26, 2002: Federal judge rules the city code ordinance on adult entertainment is unconstitutional.


JANUARY 2003: Judge rules X-Mart can open.


APRIL 2003: City enacts new adult entertainment ordinance.


DECEMBER 2003: City revokes X-Mart's business license under the new city ordinances, a move the federal judge ruled is legal, and X-Mart appeals.


SEPTEMBER 2007: Federal appeals court rules X-Mart must be granted grandfather status for zoning requirements.


JUNE 2008: X-Mart applies for and is denied a city business tax certificate.


JULY 2008: X-Mart sues again.

Source: Augusta Chronicle archives

Comments (80) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 07/24/08 - 05:58 am
0
0
The city has mishandled this

The city has mishandled this from the beginning. Of course, if they continue to ignore the court rulings, X-Mart won't have many options.

Really Bugged
0
Points
Really Bugged 07/24/08 - 06:22 am
0
0
For Gods sake how much time

For Gods sake how much time and money will be wasted by the city government on this. Let the business open. If you don’t want to go, don’t go. No one will make you. Is it really going to hurt someone being open? If nothing else it will generate tax revenue. Right now it looks like it might cost the city millions all because of a bunch of uptight self-righteous prudes who have decided they are going to make the moral decisions for the people around them.

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 07/24/08 - 06:40 am
0
0
Well said reallybugged.

Well said reallybugged.

i.b.e.w..electric
0
Points
i.b.e.w..electric 07/24/08 - 07:26 am
0
0
i say let them open,if

i say let them open,if anybody wants this smut all they have to do now is drive to south carolina,we might as well get the tax revenue off of it.besides its not in the best part of town anyway so who cares.

mikeelliott
73
Points
mikeelliott 07/24/08 - 07:36 am
0
0
Well, I guess I'm the only

Well, I guess I'm the only citizen "prude", but I am actually proud of our commissioners on this one. Morality's price is under inflation just like everything else. What are we willing to allow in the name of "revenue"? What gives us the right to deem something OK that, from the beginning of time, has been considered immoral? Keep fighting for what's right, Augusta!

firefigthenhamer
0
Points
firefigthenhamer 07/24/08 - 07:36 am
0
0
The city has screwed the plug

The city has screwed the plug on this one (typical), x-mart has won, but will still cost both a bundle to settle!

devilishlymad67
0
Points
devilishlymad67 07/24/08 - 07:45 am
0
0
Let it open, it isn't like

Let it open, it isn't like that building will do anything else besides be empty. Lucy's is open on washington, Mae's in carolina and you can always buy off the internet and have arrived in a brown box. Maybe some of these sexually frustrated prudes will actually smile!

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 07/24/08 - 07:46 am
0
0
Let it open. If I want to go

Let it open. If I want to go I will but if not I will not.

oops
0
Points
oops 07/24/08 - 07:55 am
0
0
You are talking about raising

You are talking about raising taxes, raise the taxes of the people that are keeping this store from opening.you will raise taxes only to spend it to settle a lawsuit that will come from the fight with X-mart. Let them open, if no one visit the store, they will end up closing.

double_standard
166
Points
double_standard 07/24/08 - 08:21 am
0
0
Stores like the X-Mart will

Stores like the X-Mart will never in Augusta. Many of us will choose not to visit the X-Mart but some people will. I'm trying to figure out how much different is the X-Mart from other Adult Entertainment businesses located downtown.

426Hemi
0
Points
426Hemi 07/24/08 - 08:22 am
0
0
Hey, how about some

Hey, how about some Bobble"heads" of our illustrious, self-pious commissioners? Maybe we can find them under the title "Dildos" in XMart!!! I'll buy one!

Honden
2
Points
Honden 07/24/08 - 08:22 am
0
0
I find it incredibly funny

I find it incredibly funny that the people who are against this business opening are giving the business far more free advertising than a small business could ever afford.

426Hemi
0
Points
426Hemi 07/24/08 - 08:27 am
0
0
Open the staore simply as a

Open the staore simply as a toy store, or a pet supply store. I've seen some pretty weird stuff at some local stores to be construed as "Sex Toys!" Hell, brass knuckles can be sold as "paper weights" legally, but we can't call them what they are(?)

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 07/24/08 - 08:30 am
0
0
Some one needs to hve some

Some one needs to hve some morals. On one post we are discussing a 12 year old killer then on this post people are talking about letting this establishment open when we already live in a moraless society. And we wonder why the young are all going down the wrong path, go figure........

imdstuf
10
Points
imdstuf 07/24/08 - 08:30 am
0
0
Mikeelliott, I guess you

Mikeelliott, I guess you believe in selectively enforcing laws. They should take your driver's license away, without any legal reason. Then see how you like it.

Honden
2
Points
Honden 07/24/08 - 08:32 am
0
0
Maybe the XMart should

Maybe the XMart should consider a Col Co location. I am quite sure that Col Co would love the tax revenue.

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 07/24/08 - 08:33 am
0
0
double standard, I'm having
Unpublished

double standard, I'm having trouble myself trying to figure out why those other strip joints are allowed downtown but X-mart is not? I'm confused. I definitely don't want them there -all they do is degrade women, destroy families and encourage pervertedness. But for the sake of consistency why allow one and not the other?

Honden
2
Points
Honden 07/24/08 - 08:41 am
0
0
morality? Since when am I (

morality? Since when am I ( or anyone else ) obligated to share your unrealistic uptight views?

Honden
2
Points
Honden 07/24/08 - 08:45 am
0
0
crackertroy , those "strip

crackertroy , those "strip joints" owe their existence the the FACT that Augusta ( at one time ) was a "vacation" spot for mobsters. As a result, Augusta was highly influenced by organized crime.

Unbelievable
85
Points
Unbelievable 07/24/08 - 08:47 am
0
0
The city wants to put on a

The city wants to put on a facade. They say they dont want the first thing guest see when entering the city to be a 'toy store'. So once they drive past the wastewater treatment plant, and the closed factories, they see it. Most people that fly in get on Bobby Jones Exp anyway. I think it is a waste of taxpayers money to fight something so ridiculous. If the taxpayers dont want it, they wont go, then it will close anyway. At least when they were open the lot was always clean and the grass mowed. Plus the sign is still up anyway. Its not like they pulled them down. You enter the city from Beech Island you pass a cricket manure farm, drive past some government housing were an augusta symphony member was murdered, and then pass a junkyard. But that is better than the video store?

Honden
2
Points
Honden 07/24/08 - 08:49 am
0
0
The first thing to greet you

The first thing to greet you as you get off the plane is the smell.

Honden
2
Points
Honden 07/24/08 - 08:51 am
0
0
There was a girl in

There was a girl in highschool that everyone called "continental can"

nerthus
2
Points
nerthus 07/24/08 - 08:51 am
0
0
I did not realize the city of

I did not realize the city of Augusta had money to waste paying attorneys and probably paying X-Mart not to be in business. I have read the city does not want it because it is on the gateway to the city, what about all of the strip joints on the main street - Broad - and the Regency and Budget hotels that are nothing but hang outs for drug dealers and prostitutes. If you want to clean up the gateway clean up Broad Street too. X-Mart should be allowed to open if you don't want to go don't. I am sure they will bring in business and the city will make money instead of spending money.

crazyoldman
21
Points
crazyoldman 07/24/08 - 09:05 am
0
0
You can buy products at CVS,

You can buy products at CVS, Walgreens, Wal-mart and other stores that are for the sole purpose of making sex better. Yes, they have products to lube it up. Products to make it last longer. Heck they even have products to make it smell and taste better and lets not for get about them magazines with the naked pictures. So, why haven’t the Augusta commissioners revoked the licenses and shut them down. The way I see it thanks to the commissioners, the owners of X-mart are going to make more money suing Augusta than they would if they were open for business. But first we should do a $60,000.oo study on the matter.

voluptuously_auburn1
0
Points
voluptuously_auburn1 07/24/08 - 09:09 am
0
0
The establishments open

The establishments open downtown are operating under a grandfather's clause in the city charter. The Marine Room closed its doors on Broard Street a while ago ... did anyone notice?

speaknthetruth
0
Points
speaknthetruth 07/24/08 - 09:12 am
0
0
A message to i.b.e.w.

A message to i.b.e.w. electric poster..... South Augusta might not be the "best" part of town as you say, but there are a lot of people who live on that side of town who do care and don't want it in their backyard. Since you believe it is ok to put thir store on the south side, and since a lot of folks on that side of town say they don't want it there, why don't you call XMart and tell them to stick their store - along with the types of people and activities it attracts - next to your house.

imdstuf
10
Points
imdstuf 07/24/08 - 09:20 am
0
0
speakntheturth, do you even

speakntheturth, do you even know where xmart is? Its not by anyone's backyard. Its on a strip of gordon hwy away from residents. Its by some run down old hotels.

White_Trash1
0
Points
White_Trash1 07/24/08 - 09:20 am
0
0
What, the Marine closed, say

What, the Marine closed, say it ain't so!!! Now seriously, how many of you so against X-Mart have ever been in Spencers in the mall???

Honden
2
Points
Honden 07/24/08 - 09:29 am
0
0
The Marine Room closed

The Marine Room closed because there was not enough business to make a profit. HAD the same been allowed for the XMart to begin with I would bet that by this time ( today ) XMart would have met the same fate. ( closed due to a lack of business ) The situation has now changed ( with all of the FREE advertising offered by it's foes ) XMart will eventually open and do well...at least for awhile. The real question is: Why would anyone make the trip over there ( more than once ) Anything they could sell is available for discreet purchase online.

citizen5
0
Points
citizen5 07/24/08 - 09:38 am
0
0
roadkill you are right I went

roadkill you are right I went into Spencer's the other day since I had not been in one since the Regency Mall and looks like they have everything except the videos.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Search of alleged dealer's home found drugs, firearms

An Augusta man who alleged sheriff's officers have used illegal steroids, some for years, came to the attention of a Richmond County Sheriff's narcotics officer twice, according to an ...
Search Augusta jobs