Pleasant Moments v. Dept. of Consumer

Full title: PLEASANT MOMENTS CAFE, INC. v. DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER PROTECTION ET AL

Court: Connecticut Superior Court Judicial District of New Britain at New Britain

Date published: Jul 10, 2008

Facts

The final decision included the following uncontested findings of fact:. The Bridgeport police reported to the commission that on or about January 21, 2005, a police officer in an undercover prostitution sting operation entered the cafe and went to the stage where women were performing. He observed one woman (K) dancing on the stage; she was partially nude, exposing her genitals. Another woman (D) approached the officer and offered him a “lap dance.” Two women (R and C) offered him “everything” for $60. Later, he observed D in another part of the premises having sexual intercourse with a patron. He also saw two other women (S and V) exposing themselves to patrons and allowing patrons to touch them. All of these encounters occurred within approximately ninety minutes. Other members of the police support unit arrived to make arrests. A police officer found V in a “lap dance booth” engaged in sexual intercourse with a patron. D, R, and C were arrested and charged with prostitution.

Issue

Decision

The record before the commission showed that the plaintiffs had had a prior incident dating from 2004 that had been resolved by compromise.  The 2007 incidents were not disputed factually and were appropriate for consideration under § 30-55, as amended. The commission, as indicated above, stated that it was acting because “the solicitation and sexual activity that we have found to have occurred at Pleasant Moments cannot be tolerated in any location licensed by the Sstate” It decided that “firm enforcement” and “stern enforcement action” were called for in light of the plaintiffs’ disregard for the law governing permitted establishments. (ROR, Exhibit F, p. 8.) The commission had the right to make this decision when three incidents, those of 2007, had occurred. See Hendrickson v. Dept. of Public Health, Superior Court, Judicial District of New Britain, Docket No. CV 05-4005077 (May 16, 2007, Tanzer, J.) (rejecting the argument that other, more serious violators had received lighter punishment).

The court therefore concludes that there has been no abuse of discretion, and the appeal is dismissed, with no costs awarded to either party.

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