Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II, reversed the one-year license suspensions of three exotic dancers, concluding that the dancers had been denied due process. The conduct that led to the suspensions was described by the court:
On January 20, 2006, three Pierce County detectives participated in an undercover sting
operation at Fox's Adult Nightclub. Brunson, Johnson, and Tucker performed lap dances for the detectives, touched the detectives, and received money from the detectives. Two of the dancers allowed the detectives to touch them. After the detectives received their dances, several police officers entered Fox's and arrested Brunson, Johnson, and Tucker for violations of the county code.
The court did hold that exotic dancers are not considered professionals who are entitled to the same due process protections for license suspension as, for instance, doctors:
Washington courts have required the higher standard of proof in disciplinary hearings for
the following professions: physicians, engineers, and nursing assistants. Washington courts have not decided, however, to extend the same due process guarantees to erotic dance licenses, which do not require any schooling or qualifying examination. The dancers do not cite any authority showing that erotic dance licenses are professional licenses.