City of Erie, PA
Erie County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
CROSS REFERENCES
Building usage as nuisance — See 68 P. S. § 467 et seq.
[Ord. 59-1977 § 1, passed 8-24-1977]
Council has found that the crass commercial exploitation of explicit sexual conduct through the public exhibition of lewd films, the display and/or sale of lewd publications, and the use of so-called massage parlors and model studios for purposes of lewdness, assignation or prostitution constitutes a debasement and distortion of a sensitive key relationship of human existence central to family life, community welfare and the development of the human personality; is indecent and offensive to the senses and to public morals; and interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property, in that such interferes with the interest of the public in the quality of life and total community environment, the tone of commerce in the City, property values and the public safety. The continued operation of such activities is detrimental to the best health, safety, convenience, good morals and general welfare of the City and of the residents, citizens, inhabitants and businesses thereof. Council hereby declares such activities to be a public nuisance, and herein establishes procedures for the abatement thereof. This article shall apply to existing establishments which are presently engaged in the type of activity herein declared to be a public nuisance.
[Ord. 59-1977 § 2, passed 8-24-1977; Ord. 73-1977 § 1, passed 9-28-1977]
As used in this article, certain terms are defined as follows:
(a) 
KNOWLEDGE or KNOWLEDGE OF SUCH NUISANCE — Having knowledge of the contents and character of the patently offensive sexual conduct or demonstration which appears in the film or publication, or knowledge of the acts of lewdness, assignation or prostitution which occur on the premises.
(b) 
LEWD MATTER — Any matter which:
(1) 
The average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find, when considered as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest; and
(2) 
Depicts or describes patently offensive representations or descriptions of:
A. 
Ultimate sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual or simulated; or
B. 
Masturbation, excretory functions, or exhibition of the genitals or genital area.
Nothing herein contained is intended to include or proscribe any matter which, when considered as a whole, and in the context in which it is used, possesses serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
(c) 
MASSAGE — Any method of treating the superficial soft parts of the human body, for remedial, hygienic or other purposes, consisting of rubbing, stroking, kneading or any similar treatment, accomplished by hand or by the use of any instrument.
(d) 
MASSAGE PARLOR — Any building, structure or portion thereof, located within the City, which is open to members of the general public, with or without the payment of a fee, at which massage services are offered.
(e) 
MATTER — A motion picture film or a publication, or both.
(f) 
MODEL STUDIO —
(1) 
Any premises on which there is conducted the business of furnishing figure models who pose in the nude for the purpose of being observed or viewed by any person or of being sketched, painted, drawn, sculptured, photographed or otherwise similarly depicted for persons who pay a fee, or other consideration, compensation, or gratuity, for the right or opportunity so to depict the figure model, or for admission to, or for permission to remain upon, or as a condition for remaining upon the premises; or
(2) 
Any premises where there is conducted the business of furnishing, providing or procuring, for a fee or other consideration, compensation or gratuity, figure models who pose in the nude to be observed or viewed by any person or to be sketched, painted, drawn, sculptured, photographed or otherwise similarly depicted.
(3) 
The term "model-studio" does not include:
A. 
Any studio which is operated by any state college, junior college, public school or any governmental agency wherein the person, firm, association, partnership or corporation operating it has met the requirements established by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the issuance or conferring of, and is in fact authorized thereunder to issue and confer, a diploma or honorary diploma;
B. 
Any premises where there is conducted the business of furnishing, providing or procuring figure models solely for any studio described in Subsection (f)(3)A. hereof; or
C. 
Any studio operated by a tax exempt, nonprofit corporation devoted to the development of art and its appreciation.
(g) 
MOTION PICTURE FILM — Includes any:
(1) 
Film or plate negative;
(2) 
Film or plate positive;
(3) 
Film designed to be projected on a screen for exhibition;
(4) 
Films, glass slides or transparencies, either in negative or positive form, designed for exhibition by projection on a screen; and
(5) 
Video tape or any other medium used to electronically reproduce images on a screen.
(h) 
NUDE — Includes:
(1) 
Completely without clothing; or
(2) 
With the human male or female genitals, pubic area or buttocks with less than a full opaque covering or the showing of the female breast with less than a full opaque covering of any portion thereof below the top of the nipple, or the covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state.
(i) 
PERSON — Any individual, partnership, firm, association, corporation or other legal entity.
(j) 
PLACE — Includes, but is not limited to, any building, structure or space, or any separate part or portion thereof, whether permanent or not, or the ground itself.
(k) 
PUBLICATION — Includes any book, magazine, article, pamphlet, writing, printing, illustration, picture, sound recording or motion picture film which is displayed in an area open to the public offered for sale or exhibited in a coin-operated machine.
(l) 
SALE — A passing of title or right of possession from a seller to a buyer for valuable consideration, and shall include, but is not limited to, any lease or rental arrangement or other transaction wherein or whereby any valuable consideration is received for the use of, or transfer or possession of, lewd matter.
(m) 
LIVE THEATER PRODUCTIONS — Any dramatic, musical or comedic production performed in the actual presence of a live audience.
[Ord. 59-1977 § 3, passed 8-24-1977; Ord. 73-1977 § 1, passed 9-28-1977]
(a) 
Any and every place in the City where lewd films are publicly exhibited or possessed for the purpose of such exhibition; any and every place in the City where a lewd film is publicly or repeatedly exhibited, or possessed for the purpose of such exhibitions; and any and every place in the City where lewd live theater productions are performed is a public nuisance.
(b) 
Any and every lewd film which is publicly exhibited or possessed for such purpose and any and every lewd live theater production at a place which is a public nuisance under Subsection (a) hereof, is a public nuisance per se.
(c) 
From and after service on the theater, its manager, acting manager or person then in charge of such place, of a true and correct copy of this article and a true and correct copy of the Resolution and order of summary abatement provided for in Section 712.07 hereof, all moneys paid thereafter as admission price to such exhibitions are also declared to be a public nuisance, as personal property used in conducting and maintaining a declared public nuisance.
[Ord. 59-1977 § 4, passed 8-24-1977]
(a) 
Any and every place in the City in which lewd publications constitute a part of the stock in trade is a public nuisance.
(b) 
Any and every lewd publication possessed at a place which is a public nuisance under Subsection (a) hereof, is a public nuisance per se.
(c) 
From and after service on the place, its manager, acting manager or person then in charge of such place, of a true and correct copy of this article and a true and correct copy of the Resolution and order of summary abatement provided for in Section 712.07 hereof, all valuable consideration received for the sale of such lewd publications is also declared to be a public nuisance as personal property used in conducting and maintaining a declared public nuisance.
[Ord. 59-1977 § 5, passed 8-24-1977]
(a) 
Every massage parlor or model studio, which, as a regular course of business, is used for the purposes of lewdness, assignation or prostitution, and every such massage parlor or model studio in or upon which acts of lewdness, assignations or prostitution, are held or occur, is a public nuisance which shall be enjoined, abated and prevented.
(b) 
From and after service on the place, its manager, acting manager or person then in charge of such place, of a true and correct copy of this article and a true and correct copy of the Resolution and order of summary abatement provided for in Section 712.07 hereof, all moneys or other valuable consideration paid for services rendered to customers are also declared to be a public nuisance, as personal property used in conducting and maintaining a declared public nuisance.
[Ord. 59-1977 § 6, passed 8-24-1977]
(a) 
Upon and after receiving notice through service of a true and correct copy of this article and of a true and correct copy of the Resolution and order of summary abatement provided for in Section 712.07 hereof, any and every person who shall legally or equitably, own, lease, maintain, manage, conduct or operate a place in the City which is declared to be a public nuisance as set forth and stated in Sections 712.03, 712.04 or 712.05 is deemed to be a person who has knowledge of such nuisance for the purpose of this article, and is, thereafter, responsible for its maintenance, and shall be liable therefor.
(b) 
The place and subject matter declared to be public nuisance under Sections 712.03, 712.04 or 712.05, shall be abated as provided for herein.
[Ord. 59-1977 § 7, passed 8-24-1977; Ord. 73-1977 § 1, passed 9-28-1977]
Upon a specific finding that a public nuisance, as defined in Sections 712.03, 712.04 or 712.05, exists in the City, Council, in applying the provisions of this article to such nuisance, shall provide for the following by Resolution:
(a) 
Declare the fact that such nuisance exists;
(b) 
Set forth the description or legal description and street address of the place which constitutes the nuisance;
(c) 
Set forth the evidentiary facts considered by Council arriving at its factual determination;
(1) 
In the case of a motion picture film or films, or live theater production, such shall include a recitation of the particular sexual conduct and acts which Council finds are patently offensive, and the basis for the finding by Council that:
A. 
Such films or productions are publicly exhibited in the course of business; or
B. 
Such film or production is publicly or repeatedly exhibited, or held for such exhibition at the place declared to be a nuisance.
(2) 
In the case of a publication or publications, such shall include a recitation of:
A. 
The particular publications or types of publications considered by Council, and those which Council finds to be patently offensive;
B. 
The basis for the finding by Council that such publications are displayed, sold or held for sale at any place found by Council to be a public nuisance; and
C. 
The basis of the finding by Council that such publications constitute a part of the stock in trade of such place of business or other place.
(3) 
In the case of a massage parlor or model studio, such shall include a recitation of:
A. 
The particular acts of lewdness, assignation or prostitution which have occurred; and
B. 
The basis for the finding by Council that such acts occur in the course of business.
(d) 
Order all persons described in Section 712.06(a) to summarily abate such public nuisance within 24 hours of service of such order on any such persons, by terminating the exhibition, sale or possession for sale of such lewd subject matter or by ceasing to use the place where the nuisance is declared to exist or by terminating the use of such premises for the purposes of lewdness, assignation or prostitution, or causing the same to be terminated, and notifying the Mayor and Council of compliance therewith by sworn affidavit as ordered by the action of Council in such resolution;
(e) 
Order the City Solicitor to proceed as directed in Section 712.09, and do all things necessary to abate such public nuisance through judicial proceedings and to conclude such proceedings as expeditiously as is permissible under the law, including requesting the Court to advance such proceedings on the calendar of the Court;
(f) 
Inform and give notice to persons designated in Section 712.06(a) that:
(1) 
Council has determined that a public nuisance presently exists at such place and address, and that, under Section 712.06(a), they are deemed to have knowledge thereof and are responsible therefor;
(2) 
In the event the order of the City is not complied with within 24 hours, Council has ordered the City Solicitor, as provided for under Section 712.09 to commence necessary legal proceedings naming such persons as defendants in a civil action to abate the same judicially under Section 712.07, and that under Sections 712.08(a) and (b), the costs of abatement of such civil abatement action filed including investigative costs, court costs, attorney's fees and other expenses, are made a special assessment against the parcel of land upon which such nuisance is being maintained and, upon their determination in such court action, shall, by separate legal procedure, be made a lien against such property and a personal obligation against any person, persons, firm, association, partnership, corporation or other entity deemed to be in violation of this article;
(3) 
All lewd motion picture films, lewd publications or lewd live theater productions being used in conducting and maintaining such public nuisance are contraband and the subject of forfeiture; and
(4) 
From and after service on the place, its manager, acting manager or person then in charge of such a place, of a true and correct copy of this article and a true and correct copy of such Resolution, any and all moneys paid as admission price to or for the exhibition or exhibitions of such lewd motion picture films or lewd live theater productions, and valuable consideration received for the sale of such lewd publications, and all moneys or other valuable consideration received for services rendered in such massage parlors or model studios are a public nuisance, as personal property used in conducting and maintaining such nuisance, and as such, are the subject of forfeiture.
(g) 
Order that a true and correct copy of such Resolution and a true and correct copy of this article be delivered forthwith in any manner normally used to effectuate personal service of process to all persons of record having any legal or equitable interest in the real property, and to the regular or acting manager or persons in charge of the place therein declared a public nuisance.
[Ord. 59-1977 § 8, passed 8-24-1977]
(a) 
Upon judgment for the City in legal proceedings brought pursuant to this article, an accounting shall be made by such defendant or defendants of all moneys or valuable consideration received by them which have been declared to be a public nuisance under Sections 712.03(c), 712.04(c) or 712.05(b). Such moneys or their equivalent and any valuable consideration received shall be forfeited to the General Fund or to the City as property of the City if any valuable consideration received be not money.
(b) 
The cost of abatement shall include the following:
(1) 
Investigative costs;
(2) 
Court costs;
(3) 
Reasonable attorney's fees arising out of the preparation for, and trial of the case, and appeals therefrom, and other costs allowed on appeal; and
(4) 
Printing costs of trial and appellate briefs, and all other papers filed in such proceeding.
(c) 
Such cost of abatement is hereby made a special assessment against the parcel of land upon which such nuisance is maintained. Upon its determination in a civil action such shall, by separate legal proceeding, be made a lien against such property and a personal obligation against any person, persons, firm, association, partnership, corporation or other entity and shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary municipal taxes are collected, and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure and sale in the case of delinquency as provided for ordinary municipal taxes. All laws, applicable to the levy, collection and enforcement of municipal taxes, shall be applicable to such special assessment.
[Ord. 59-1977 § 9, passed 8-24-1977; Ord. 73-1977 § 1, passed 9-28-1977]
Upon a specific finding by resolution of Council of the fact that a public nuisance exists at a particular location, the City Solicitor shall, not later than five days after the passage of such resolution, commence legal proceedings by the filing of a civil action seeking the following relief:
(a) 
A Declaratory Judgment that the matter named by Council is lewd, as defined herein.
(b) 
A Declaratory Judgment that the matter found to be lewd is or are public nuisances per se under this article and such resolution.
(c) 
A Declaratory Judgment that each place named by Council is a public nuisance under this article and such resolution.
(d) 
An accounting of all moneys paid as admission price to or for the exhibition or exhibitions of such lewd motion picture films or lewd live theater productions, and valuable consideration received for the sale of such lewd publications, and all moneys or other valuable consideration received for services rendered in such massage parlors or model studios from and after the time the persons maintaining such nuisance receive notice of the finding by Council by resolution that the public nuisance exists, and a judgment that such moneys or valuable consideration are a public nuisance under this article.
(e) 
An order that all admission price moneys or valuable consideration received and enumerated in the Court-ordered accounting be forfeited as contraband to the General Fund or as property belonging to the City.
(f) 
An injunction enjoining and restraining all persons responsible for maintaining such nuisance from possessing or publicly exhibiting such lewd motion picture films or lewd live theater productions, or from selling or possessing for sale such lewd publications, or from committing acts of lewdness, assignation or prostitution, at any time in the future in the City, and such other injunctive relief as the Court may order.
(g) 
An order that all positive prints of the named lewd film and all lewd publications or copies or reproductions thereof be forfeited as contraband under this article.
(h) 
Judgment for the City for all costs therein expended, including investigative costs, courts costs, reasonable attorney's fees and such other expenses as are provided for herein.
(i) 
All other relief as the Court may deem proper.
[Ord. 59-1977 § 10, passed 8-24-1977]
If any court shall determine that any word, clause, phrase, sentence, Paragraph or subsection of this article is unconstitutional as worded, the Court shall first attempt to construe or interpret such unconstitutional provision so as to enable the same to be constitutional as so narrowed or construed. If the Court cannot so limit or construe such word or provision narrowly so as to render the same constitutional, it shall strike or modify only the minimum number of words, phrases, clauses, sentences or paragraphs as will be absolutely necessary to render the remainder constitutional. In no case shall a clause or phrase or word or other portion hereof render any other word, clause, phrase, sentence, paragraph or section unconstitutional, but instead shall be severed therefrom entirely, with the balance of this article in its entirety remaining in full force and effect.