City's Statement on Oasis Lawsuit

The City's statement of Feb. 10, 2020, on the Oasis lawsuit:

Since coming into the City of Doraville at the beginning of 2013, Oasis Goodtime Emporium has sued the City multiple times and lost at every level, in every case. It is past time for Oasis to comply with Doraville’s valid, court-tested laws and the permanent injunction entered in December 2019 by DeKalb County Superior Court.

The City will return to that court later this month and ask for substantial monetary sanctions, including attorneys’ fees and fines, and for an order closing Oasis until it has complied with the court’s prior orders, including the permanent injunction. The permanent injunction prohibits Oasis and its agents from violating seven distinct provisions of the City’s alcohol and sexually oriented business ordinances. Each of the 75 tickets issued to Oasis and its on-site managers in December was for committing a specific illegal act that violates the City’s valid laws and the court’s permanent injunction. Those tickets are a small fraction of the thousands of violations that Oasis and its managers have continued to commit since the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously rejected their challenges to the City’s laws in 2015.

Oasis first sued the City in DeKalb Superior Court over its preexisting ordinances when Oasis came within the City’s limits. Rejecting all of Oasis’s arguments, the trial court and, later, the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously upheld the City’s ordinances regulating sexually oriented businesses and alcohol. The Court held that these ordinances, which are substantively the same as those upheld in several surrounding cities, serve substantial government interests in protecting the community’s health, safety and welfare. 

After losing, Oasis sued the City multiple times. The trial court entered a temporary injunction against Oasis, which also was upheld by the Georgia Supreme Court. Later, the trial court held — beyond a reasonable doubt — that Oasis was violating both the City’s ordinances and the injunction, and awarded the City criminal and civil contempt sanctions. The Court of Appeals upheld the contempt order last year. In December, the trial court granted final judgments in all of the Oasis cases in favor of the City, and entered a permanent injunction against the illegally operating strip club. 

Oasis appealed, and one of the appeals already has been dismissed. After receiving police citations for continuing its illegal conduct after the December injunction, Oasis brought yet another suit, this time in federal court. That suit is tellingly silent as to all of the state court proceedings and orders; Oasis did not even disclose them to the federal court. The City will be moving to dismiss that case promptly, as the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly held that federal courts should not interfere with ongoing state proceedings. Oasis’s latest filing is a frivolous attempt to avoid complying with valid laws and court orders.

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