Sarasota County filed a lawsuit with the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court against Cheetah Lounge Inc. and Sarasota Eateries LLC Feb. 27, to force the strip club to apply for and obtain a license to operate a “sexually-oriented business.”
According to Sarasota County code, "sexually oriented business" means an "adult bookstore," an "adult video store," an "adult cabaret," an "adult motel," an "adult motion picture theater," a "semi-nude model studio," a "sexual device shop," or a "sexual encounter center."
Cheetah Lounge President William Bullard, in a Feb. 14 letter to Sarasota County Zoning Administrator Brad Bailey, wrote that the club was exempt from county ordinances enacted in 2008 to regulate adult entertainment businesses. The letter was in response to a Jan. 18 notice from the county asking the owner to obtain a license.
Cheetah Lounge sued the county in 2009, debating the constitutionality of the ordinances. The county prevailed and the appeal case brought by the strip club closed March 4.
The county is asking the court for an injunction to order Cheetah Club to prevent employees from appearing partially nude and touching customers before obtaining a license.