Lawyers representing owners of the Pink Pony told the Georgia Supreme Court on June 2 that a DeKalb County judge prematurely dismissed the club’s lawsuit challenging the city of Brookhaven’s law dealing with sexually oriented businesses.
“We had no chance to counter any of the things Brookhaven [presented to the judge about sexually oriented businesses],” Alan Begner, one of several lawyers representing the Brookhaven strip club, told the court. “One of the things he has no answer for is, ‘Why is this not premature?’”
But Scott Bergthold, representing the city, told the justices that DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Courtney Johnson properly granted Brookhaven’s request to dismiss the club’s lawsuit challenging the city’s ordinance.
In May, the owners of the Pink Pony sued the city over its sexually oriented business ordinance, which prohibits nude dancing and the sale of alcohol, claiming it would put the club out of business. Begner said the club had operated for 22 years. The business remained open through an arrangement with DeKalb County officials under which the club was allowed to operate as a “grandfathered” business and paid $100,000 a year in fees to the county.
Bergthold said the city carefully followed legal precedents when drafting its sexually oriented business law. “We are here today because DeKalb County grandfathered [the club] and took a $100,000 payment,” he said. “When the new city of Brookhaven was incorporated, they did not take that deal.”

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.