Company Asks Court Not To Allow Mention Of Strip Club

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A strip club developer who is suing the city of Athens in federal court is asking a judge to prohibit the city from mentioning at trial that he wants to open an adult entertainment business.

Christopher Stotts sued the city in federal court because the city has repeatedly denied his business, Three Wide Entertainment, a use permit for the proposed club. The lawsuit claims that the city violated the constitutional rights of Stotts and Demetrios Prokos, owner of the building on Stimson Avenue where the club would be located.

The case is set to go to trial Jan. 13.

In a court filing Monday, the plaintiffs ask Judge Algenon Marbley not to allow the city to mention at trial that the motive for seeking the use permit is to open an adult entertainment business. They argue the information is not relevant and would be prejudicial.

"Plaintiffs suspect that defendants may try to inflame the jury by making argument about the plaintiffs' motive for seeking a use permit to operate an adult entertainment business in the city of Athens," the court filing argues. "The plaintiffs' motive for attempting to open an adult entertainment business has no bearing whatsoever on the elements of any of the plaintiffs' claims, and such discussion will only serve to prejudice the jury."

The city has not yet filed a response.

Charles Curley, attorney for the city, said Wednesday he has not had an opportunity to consider the motion, but will be filing a response later this month, along with a response for another motion filed by the plaintiffs. Stotts also is asking the judge to not allow the city to argue at trial four points that Stotts says the court already decided against the city in an earlier ruling for summary judgment.

The city, meanwhile, has filed a motion asking the court to reconsider and revise its summary judgment ruling.

A settlement conference in the case was held Tuesday, but Curley said the case was not resolved.