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DALLAS — The Dallas City Council voted unanimously yesterday to approve a $650,000 settlement with the organizers of the Exxxotica expos.
Last October, the company won an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on their First Amendment lawsuit against the Texan metropolis. The following month, as XBIZ reported, the Appeals court declined to rehear the city’s arguments.
“It was a great victory for the First Amendment and we’re very pleased that we were able to achieve this outcome,” attorney J. Michael Murray told XBIZ.
Murray is one of the attorneys who represented Three Expo Events, the company that organizes the popular Exxxotica events around the country where adult stars and companies promote their products and services to the general public.
Three Expo Events, according to legal news site Texas Lawyer, “alleged the city violated its constitutional rights by barring its Exxxotica event from the Dallas Convention Center in 2016.”
Dallas won a motion in trial court to dismiss the case, known as Three Expo Events v. City of Dallas, but it was overruled on appeal last October by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Exxxotica Dallas was held by Three Expo in 2015, but it faced staunch opposition from religiously motivated anti-sex crusaders and self-appointed guardians of public morals. In January 2016, Mayor Mike Rawlings, a Democrat, stated that he did not want Exxxotica to return to Dallas, and was backed by several members of the Dallas City Council.
“Even after the Dallas city attorney told the council that barring Exxxotica from the convention center would violate the business’s free-speech rights,” reports Texas Lawyer, “the council voted to adopt a resolution for the city to decline to enter a contract to lease the convention center for Exxxotica.”
Two weeks later, Three Expo filed their lawsuit.
The Circuit court ruling explained that the record shows that “the mayor and the city council made clear at the city council meeting their firm and deliberate decision to exclude Exxxotica 2016 from the convention center under any circumstance and regardless of the legal consequences.”
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling was split 2-1 in favor of the appellants.
“Three Expo established the three elements required for standing on each of its claims and should be permitted to proceed with its suit,” reads the summary of the Appeals court’s ruling from October 2018. “The court held that the district court’s decision that Three Expo lacked standing was based on clear errors in the factual findings and the district court’s manifest failure to apply the well-established principles of law governing Article III standing to the entire evidence of record.”