Trial date set for next year in Theatair X case
CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) - Attorneys representing Clarksville in a civil case related to adult business Theatair X have again asked a judge to uphold the town’s decision to revoke its business license. A jury trial is now scheduled for early 2022.
The return to the original question of the now two-year-old civil case, which was filed as an administrative appeal by Theatair X when the town suspended its business license, comes after events that have taken the case in different directions.
And in a court filing last week, attorneys representing the town of Clarksville stated that Theatair X had been duly noticed of a potential license revocation in 2019, despite attorneys for the business and property owner previously arguing they it had not been. The filing also states that Theatair X should have been aware that conditions in the building were ripe for illegal sexual activity outside the view of a manager.
Theatair X filed the administrative appeal in May 2019, two months after the Clarksville Town Council voted to uphold the suspension, an action that came after multiple alleged zoning code violations and a license suspension within the previous year. This had followed an undercover Clarksville police officer arresting four people after he said they were engaging in illicit sex acts on the property.
Attorneys for Theatair X have argued that the business was not properly noticed of a potential business license revocation. Court documents and testimony show they say this notice was sent to the Theatair X property on U.S. 31 in Clarksville but addressed to AMW Investments, Inc. (which owns the property) not Midwest Entertainment Ventures, LLC (which owns the business).
Attorneys representing the town say the business was well aware of the notice.
During the course of the civil action, the town updated a law pertaining to sexually-oriented businesses, which applied directly to Theatair X. Clarksville has said the business was in violation of its provisions and has pushed for Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 Judge Vicki Carmichael to order Theatair X to pay the $770,000 in fines they say it owes.
In early 2020, Carmichael ruled that Theatair X would have to abide by the business hours listed in the updated Clarksville ordinance, which would mean closing between midnight and 6 a.m. The News and Tribune previously reported that a substantial part of business was conducted in the overnight hours.
Theatair X appealed this ruling, which was upheld. In April, a petition for the Indiana Supreme Court to hear this portion of the case was denied. During that appeals process, Carmichael said she was unable to rule on enforcement of fines until it had concluded.
At a hearing last week, the court set new dates in the ongoing civil case, notably scheduling a bench trial for March 1, 2022. A hearing on a motion to compel Theatair X to provide discovery is set for June 21, filed by the town after its attorneys say the business has “stonewalled” in providing evidentiary information.
A motion for summary judgement will be heard Dec. 8.