Voyeur Dorm, L.C. v. City of Tampa, Florida

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

265 F.3d 1232 (11th Cir. 2001)

A zoning ordinance that restricts activities offered to the public in a certain physical location does not apply to a private residence that only lets the public view those activities over the Internet.

Relevant Facts

Voyeur Dorm (the plaintiff) operated a website that provided a 24-hour live Internet feed portraying the lives of the residents of a house in Tampa, Florida. The plaintiff contracted with the women who lived in the house. The City of Tampa (the defendant) determined that the plaintiff had violated Tampa’s statute prohibiting adult entertainment in residential areas. The plaintiff sued to overturn the decision. Under the statute, to be adult entertainment, the activity must take place on a premise which is offered to members of the public. The issue at trial was whether the statute applied to the activities inside the plaintiff’s house. The plaintiff argued that because his website allowed members of the public to pay to watch the video feed, his activity was offered to the public and constituted adult entertainment under the statute. In other words, the plaintiff argued that because the public was not physically invited inside the house, the statute did not apply.

The lower court found that the plaintiff’s sexual entertainment website violated the statute because the house offered specific sexual activities to the public, regardless of whether or not the public physically congregated at a specific location to watch the entertainment. The plaintiff appealed.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 13, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

265 F.3d 1232 (11th Cir. 2001)