Voyeur Dorm, L.C. v. City of Tampa
|Voyeur Dorm, L.C. v. City of Tampa|
|Court||United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit|
|Full case name||Voyeur Dorm, L.C., et al v. City of Tampa, FL|
|Decided||September 21, 2001|
|Citation(s)||265 F.3d 1232|
|Prior action(s)||121 F. Supp. 2d 1373 (M.D. Fla. 2000)|
|Judge(s) sitting||Gerald Bard Tjoflat, Joel Fredrick Dubina, John M. Duhe, Jr.|
|Majority||Dubina, joined by a unanimous court|
|Tampa City Code|
Voyeur Dorm, L.C. v. City of Tampa, Fla., 265 F.3d 1232 (11th Cir. 2001), decided on September 21, 2001, was a case decided by the 11th Circuit Court, in which the court decided whether on online site called Voyeur Dorm fit the Tampa City Code definition of an "adult entertainment establishment." The circuit court was unanimous in its decision.
Voyeur Dorm, located at 2312 West Farwell Drive, Tampa, was a Florida company which operated a website that allowed members to watch the lives of the residents 24 hours a day for $34.95 a month. The women who were employed by Voyeur Dorm signed contracts which stated that they were employees on a "stage and filming location." Subscribers could also pay an additional $16.00 each month to chat with the women. From August 1998 to June 2000, Voyeur Dorm generated $3,166,551.35 from subscriptions and sales. Upon learning that local law enforcement were investigating the business in 1998, Voyeur Dorm wrote to Tampa's Zoning Coordinator to inquire about whether the City Code applied to the activities at 2312 West Farwell Drive.
The Zoning Coordinator issued the following decision:
It is my determination that the use occurring at 2312 W. Farwell Dr., as described in your letter, is an adult use. Section 27-523 defines adult entertainment as: "Any [sic] premises, except those businesses otherwise defined in this chapter, on which is offered to members of the public or any person, for a consideration, entertainment featuring or in any way including specified sexual activities, as defined in this section, or entertainment featuring the displaying or depicting of specified anatomical areas, as defined in this section; 'entertainment' as used in this definition shall include, but not be limited to, books, magazines, films, newspapers, photographs, paintings, drawings, sketches or other publications or graphic media, filmed or live plays, dances or other performances distinguished by their display or depiction of specified anatomical areas or specified anatomical activities, as defined in this section." Please be aware that the property is zoned RS-60 Residential Single Family, and an adult use business is not permitted use. You should advise your client to cease operation at that location.
In April 1999 the Zoning Coordinator's decision was appealed. The City of Tampa and Voyeur Dorm filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The district court granted Tampa's motion for summary judgment, leading Voyeur Dorm to appeal to the 11th Circuit Court.
The circuit court found that Voyeur Dorm did not fit the Tampa City Code section 27-523. Judge Dubina wrote that "the offering occurs when the videotaped images are dispersed over the Internet and into the public eye for consumption. The City Code cannot be applied to a location that does not, itself, offer adult entertainment to the public."  Since the public cannot physically go to 2312 West Farwell Drive to see the adult entertainment, it does not fall under the Tampa zoning ordinance.
- Voyeur Dorm, L.C. v. City of Tampa, 265 F.3d 1232 (11th Cir. 2001).
- 265 F.3d at 1234
- 265 F.3d at 1236