Recent Broward Law Blog Features

Thursday, January 29, 2009

US Court Protects 'Voyeur Dorms' in Miami

neither an adult business nor a business be, so sayeth Judge Marcia Cooke in a federal court decision granting Benjamin & Aaronson a summary judgment against the city of Miami and its Code Enforcement Board.

Arguing that the City violated due process under both constitutional and state standards, citing the precedential authority of Tampa rulings on similarly situated businesses operating under the same techniques, our resident legal first amendment experts have prevailed yet again.

Miami, like Tampa and Orlando, attempted to shut down the famous webcast site, which broadcasts feeds from cameras set up throughout the house of some game co-eds. The argument was that the house in question is in a residential neighborhood that is not zoned for enterprise and, specifically, not zoned for "adult enterprises," such as pornographic movie theaters or peep shows. Florida won at the trial court but lost on appeal. The 11th Circuit ruled that zoning laws do not apply to business done purely over the Internet.

Jamie is headed to the First Amendment Lawyers’ Association this weekend in New Orleans, so you might not see him for a few days. But his victory is being applauded in legal circles as ‘‘Son of Voyeur Dorm’, and we salute him here.

The dorms are essentially residences where people live and can be watched and viewed 24/7 on the Internet. Now I heard these businesses are not what they once were, but for what its worth, the most popularly viewed site on the Internet right now is a box full of puppies. See for example,

Well, the sites Jamie defended have human puppies in them, with real body parts, and are still accessible. Now we can guess what Sheldon Schapiro used to stare at with that laptop on his desk when he was a judge .

Seriously though, this is another important win for protecting the sanctity and breadth of the First Amendment, and insuring that the Internet remains accessible as a 21st century technology generations now and in the future will employ routinely.

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