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May 30, 2015

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Swinger blocked from operating sex club gets another day in court

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Steve Marcus

David Cooper, who was denied a business license for Sextasy, his swinger’s club in Commercial Center, talks with his attorney Lisa Rasmussen before an eviction hearing in District Court in Las Vegas on Aug. 15, 2008. Cooper says the county has singled him out.

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A business owner who said he was improperly denied a business license to open a swingers club in a Las Vegas shopping center will get a second chance to make his case after a federal court ordered Monday that his lawsuit against Clark County be reheard.

David Cooper sued Clark County in U.S. District Court in 2010 after he was denied a license to run a “high-end” swingers club, dubbed Sextasy, at the Commercial Center shopping mall on Sahara Avenue near Maryland Parkway.

Although sex clubs are considered a public nuisance and are illegal under county code, Cooper applied for a restaurant license because he said he intended to serve food at the facility.

In a letter denying the application, the county stated that Cooper had made “false and misleading statements” and didn’t meet the criteria for the license.

Cooper maintained he met all of the county’s requirements for the license and that he was unfairly and arbitrarily singled out for denial, violating his due process rights.

In the lawsuit, Cooper noted that several other adult-oriented businesses, including sex clubs, have operated at the same shopping center without similar interference from the county.

The district court initially dismissed Cooper’s case on a variety of grounds, but on Monday the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the lower court erred in several of its findings.

In its ruling, the appeals court noted that “it is plausible that Clark County denied Cooper a license to which he had a legitimate claim,” although it did not issue a formal opinion on the case, instead leaving it to the district court.

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