Stardust, 3007, LLC v. City of Brookhaven

Court: Georgia Court of Appeals
Case Number: A18A1958
Decision Date: February 20, 2019
Case Type: Adult Business
The Georgia Court of Appeals held that a trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that Stardust, 3007, LLC and its owner were in criminal contempt for violation of a permanent injunction. The court held that commission of any of the acts prohibited by the permanent injunction were each separate punishable acts. A previous decision by the DeKalb County Superior Court had prohibited Stardust and its owner from operating a sexual device shop at a specific location in the City of Brookhaven. 

Stardust argued that the superior court erred in finding it and its owner in contempt because it claimed the city failed to prove contempt beyond a reasonable doubt, because it alleged the court exceeded the maximum penalty for a single act of contempt, that the court erred in granting attorneys fees without an evidentiary hearing, and that the injunction violated the First Amendment of the Georgia Constitution. 

The Georgia Court of appeals held that Stardust failed to show error by the record in its accusation that the city had failed to prove contempt beyond a reasonable doubt. The court held that because it did not have a transcript of the evidentiary hearing it had to assume that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that Stardust and its owner were in contempt. The court also found that the superior court's injunction had prohibited Stardust from committing three different acts and that Stardust had violated all three, as separate acts, which led to three different contempt charges. The court also disagreed that the trial court had awarded attorneys fees without an evidentiary hearing and held that the city's contempt motion put Stardust on notice that it was seeking attorneys fees. Finally, the court held that the First Amendment claim was procedurally barred because it had already been litigated.