Ancient Art Tattoo v. City of Virginia Beach

Full title: ANCIENT ART TATTOO STUDIO, LTD., ET AL. v. CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH, ET AL

Court: Supreme Court of Virginia

Date published: Apr 19, 2002

Facts

Plaintiff filed an application to obtain permits to operate a tattoo parlor. The city’s zoning administrator responded that, in light of a circuit court decision invalidating a prior ban on such establishments, further research was required before acting on the applications. Plaintiff filed a petition for a writ of mandamus to require the requested approval immediately. The plaintiff alleged compliance with all the provisions of the zoning ordinance and that issuing the required certificates was “a perfunctory ministerial procedure” that is generally handled “at the counter.” The circuit court denied the petition, concluding that the city should have a reasonable period to consider the applications and enact appropriate zoning regulations relating to the location and operation of tattoo establishments. A few days before entry of the court’s final order, the city adopted several amendments to its zoning ordinance with the effect of prohibiting the operation of tattoo parlors in the district where the plaintiff had originally planned to locate. Plaintiff appeals from the denial of its petition for a writ of mandamus.

Issue

Decision

Thus, we conclude that mandamus was not an appropriate remedy to obtain the relief sought by ancient art. Accordingly, the circuit court did not err in denying Ancient Art’s petition for a supplemental writ of mandamus, and we will affirm the circuit court’s judgment.

Affirmed.

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