Property Owner Files Federal Lawsuit: Wants Right To Open Strip Joint

By Jeff Neumeyer

March 27, 2013 Updated Mar 27, 2013 at 6:32 PM EDT

ANGOLA, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) --- A fight heats up over attempts to open a strip club in the city of Angola.

A property owner has filed a federal lawsuit to try and get his business up and running.

Alva Butler, who runs three "Showgirl" nightclubs in Fort Wayne, wants to get one started in Angola, but zoning rules changes initiated there have shut him down.

Now Butler is suing the city of Angola, claiming the government entity is violating his free speech and due process rights.

He took possessionj of the former Slider's Bar and Grill in Angola last summer, with the intent of opening a strip club on the site.

However, the Angola City Council put in force new zoning regulations, outlawing those types of businesses in retail and shopping districts.

The arguments in the lawsuit go on for 49 pages.

Boiling it down, Butler wants the U.S. District Court of Northern Indiana to declare the Angola zoning ordinance unconstitutional, and the suit also targets an Angola hearing officer's decision to deny Butler's application for a sexually oriented business license.

In addition, the plaintifss are seeking damages, court costs, and attorney fees, as well as an injunction to clear the way for the strip club to operate.

A representative from the city of Angola says the matter has been referred to the city's insurance company, and it will handle the city's defense.

No court hearings have yet been scheduled.

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