40 Retail Corp. v. City of Clarksville

Appellant operated a sexually oriented business. Three weeks after the store's opening, the City Council enacted an ordinance establishing licensing requirements and regulations for sexually oriented businesses. Once a three-year grace period for nonconforming businesses already in existence at the time of the ordinance's passage ended, Appellant applied for and received a single six-month hardship extension. After the extension expired and Appellant did not apply for another extension, the City filed this action to enjoin the continuing operation of the store. Appellant counterclaimed, alleging that the ordinance was invalid, it violated the Arkansas Civil Rights Act, and it was unconstitutional. The circuit court found that the doctrines of waiver and estoppel prohibited Appellant from challenging the ordinance because it sought and was granted a hardship license and because it had received the benefit of the ordinance's amortization period. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding that the acceptance-of-benefits rule of estoppel did not apply in this case because the passage of the ordinance provided no benefit to the store, and Appellant's acceptance of the temporary hardship extension was not voluntary in any real sense. View "40 Retail Corp. v. City of Clarksville" on Justia Law