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Young v. American Mini Theaters, Inc

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Brief Fact Summary. Detroit, Michigan adopted a zoning ordinance that restricted the location of adult movie theaters and prevented too many to congregate near bars and other regulated establishments.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Content of speech may be used to restrict an activity, as long as the speech is not biased by such a restriction.

Points of Law - Legal Principles in this Case for Law Students.

The mere fact that the commercial exploitation of material protected by the First Amendment is subject to zoning and other licensing requirements is not a sufficient reason for invalidating these ordinances.

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Facts. Detroit, Michigan adopted a zoning ordinance that restricted the location of adult movie theaters. The adult movie houses were not to be located within 1,000 feet of any two other “regulated uses” and was to be located more than 500 feet from a residential area.

Issue. Is a statute that regulates the location of adult movie theaters differently than regular movies constitutional?

Held. Yes. This law does not restrict the communication of the material. It just limits the location of the message.

Dissent. This is a time, place, and manner restriction. This type of restriction is to be used only with content neutral discriminations.

Discussion. The city imposes restrictions on regular theaters as well. This restriction, although directed at the adult entertainment, is not abnormally harsh or unreasonable. The number of theater licenses were not limited, therefore, speech was not prohibited.

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