Embattled Love Shack Buys Some Time

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. - A Fulton Superior Court judge, in a written order issued yesterday, told John Cornetta, the embattled owner of adult video chain the Love Shack, that he may not operate an adult business at its current Johns Creek location, and that Cornetta must have a regular business license or close his store.

Cornetta managed a reprieve, however, by applying for a regular business license on Tuesday. The application comes with a grace period of up to 30 days during which time a business can operate without a license while the application is being processed.

For its part, the city holds that if code inspectors determine the Love Shack exceeds one of the thresholds used by the city to define a sexually oriented business, it will ask judge Ural Glanville to enforce the judge's order, which could include closing the store or fining Cornetta. It's possible that Cornetta could also be jailed for contempt.

City Attorney Bill Riley told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "He [Cornetta] is still subject to the judge's order on not operating a sexually oriented business." Riley added, "I believe the defendant will follow any orders issued by a judge."

In a document filed with the court this week, Cornetta's attorney, Cary Wiggins, indicated that the judge's order fails to consider First Amendment issues. These issues could signal more lengthy court battles involving the Love Shack.

Glanville's latest order is seen as a major victory for the city of Johns Creek, which has long held that the Love Shack is operating illegally in a location not zoned for adult busineses.

Mayor Mike Bodker told the Journal-Constitution that the judge's order is, "...total victory, but it's one step in a long process. It's winning a battle, not the war. It's a big battle. He's at the end of a rope, holding on to the knot, and it's about to slip."