Love Shack Hearing Coincides With Store's One-Year Anniversary

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. - Embattled adult outlet the Love Shack is set to celebrate its one-year anniversary on the same day that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments from Love Shack attorneys H. Louis Sirkin and Cary Wiggins, as well as Fulton County prosecuting attorney Steve Rosenberg.

On Nov. 30, 2006, the second day of business for Love Shack and its owner, John Cornetta, Fulton County filed for an Emergency Restraining Order in Fulton County Superior Court to shut the Love Shack down, despite the fact that Cornetta claims adult material comprises less than 25 percent of the store's inventory, the amount allowed under Fulton County law.

Judge Jerry Baxter said from the bench that he felt the county's claim was not an emergency, and that the matter needed to be decided by the federal judge handling the dispute, Judge Thomas Thrash.

Judge Thrash eventually found in favor of the County, ruling that the Love Shack was operating as an adult bookstore, and ordering Cornetta to reduce his adult inventory by a "significant" amount. When pressed by Sirkin to define "significant," Thrash commented, "My order is what my order is." He furthermore found Cornetta in contempt of court and fined him almost $20,000.

Cornetta appealed the district court's ruling and earlier this year the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decided to hear the case.

The Love Shack has operated continuously throughout these events, though without a sign. Johns Creek has denied him permission to display a sign and sued him in State Court for operating what the city claims is an illegal business.

On Nov. 15, Cornetta retaliated by filing suit against the city in Fulton Superior Court on the grounds that city staff and the city Board of Zoning Appeals improperly denied him the right to put up a sign.

Thursday, as both sides plead their cases to the 11th Circuit, Cornetta will be offering his customers 35 percent off all merchandise to commemorate the one-year mark and thank them for their support.

"I have said from day one that we wanted to work with the community and that we were right on the law from day one," commented Cornetta. "We have raised over $5,000 to help the city build a fire department and they have said no. We have offered rent-free space for a police sub-station and they have said no. Heck, I even asked the mayor to join me in a dunk tank where people could choose who to dunk, me or him, with all money going to charity, and he has said no. I just have to wonder when we win this thing and I ask for an apology, will he finally have the guts to say yes?"

The dunk tank fundraiser will occur with or with out the mayor's participation, Cornetta said, and local adult personality Mike South has volunteered to fill in as the town chief's double for the cause. The event is scheduled to take place Saturday, Dec. 15.