The lawsuit appealing Logan County Judge/Executive Logan Chick’s denial for an entertainment license for the Tenn-Tucky State Line Tavern was filed in circuit court on Thursday.
Chick issued his ruling last week, which will not allow bar owner Sheila Haley to pay people to pole dance in her establishment.
Haley wasted no time in hiring Bowling Green attorney Alan Simpson to represent her in the appeal process.
Simpson’s lawsuit is challenging Chick’s ruling on several areas - including the constitutionality of the Kentucky statute which requires businesses to apply for entertainment permits in the first place.
Simpson claims that the law should be declared void for vagueness.
“More specifically, the statutes in this section do not provide criteria for a proper exercise of discretion by the County Judge Executive,” the lawsuit states. “(It) is also unconstitutional in that it requires a license for those similarly situation as the plaintiff (outside the corporate city limits), yet does not require such a permit for businesses located within the corporate limits of a city government.”
The lawsuit also claims that the denial of the permit by Chick was “arbitrary and capricious.”
In Chick’s seven-page denial, he claimed that “the proposed establishment could have an irreversible negative impact on the safety and wellbeing of the residents of things county, as well as those who are required to regulate this establishment.”
He also questioned whether the pole dancing would actually be occurring in Kentucky - or in neighboring Tennessee.
There is a line painted inside the bar, which represents the state line.
“I was directed to the Logan County Surveyor, Jeff Harris, for an opinion on the actual Kentucky-Tennessee state line and the validity of the marking on the floor of the Tenn-Tucky State Line,” Chick said in his ruling. “It is his opinion that the property owner set up the building on what they believed the state line to be, presumably based upon the line that would be created if State Line Road continued across 431 South.”
In his lawsuit, Simpson claims that “it is not the applicant’s burden to prove where the line separating two the of United States’ 50 states is located.”
“This is especially true in light of the acceptance of property taxes that have been paid to the County of Logan, Kentucky,” Simpson writes int he suit. “Logan County’s acceptance of taxes and provision of law enforcement support to this location should act as an estoppel for them now deny its proper location.”
The appeal will be heard by Circuit Court Judge Tyler Gill at some point in the future.
“There will be a trial - or at least some evidence will be heard in circuit court,” Simpson said. “I am confident that Judge Gill will fast-track this as much as possible.”
In the meantime, pole dancing will continue at the Tenn-Tucky State Line Tavern, according to Haley.
“When people heard that my permit got denied and they quit coming,” she said. “But we’re still here and we still have pole dancing - I just can’t pay the dancers anything.”
Haley said that she has multiple girls who are dancing at her bar and hopes to be able to pay them if the ruling is overturned.