Tuesday, February 03, 2009

CocoDorm allowed

The Herald headline is: "Judge OK's gay porn filming in Miami."

Headlines don't get much better than that, do they?

The Judge is Judge Cooke.

Here is some of the article:

The boys of Cocodorm -- Snow Bunni, J Fizzo, et al -- are staying put, after a federal judge ruled that the gay porn website has a right to film out of its Edgewater home.
Cocodorm.com features black and Hispanic men, known as ''dorm dudes,'' who share a webcam-filled house together.
Miami has tried to shut the house down, arguing it constitutes an adult business illegally operating in a residential area. The city's Code Enforcement Board in 2007 agreed, but Cocodorm responded to the code enforcement proceedings by suing in federal court.
From the outside, the Cocodorm house looks like any other residence. Those who want to see Cocodorm do so via the Internet, with a credit card. Last week, U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke sided with Cocodorm, basing her ruling on a previous case involving the city of Tampa and another adult website, Voyeurdorm.com.
Like Miami, Tampa tried to use its adult-business zoning laws to close the ''dorm'' in question, in this case occupied by women.
But an appeals court, ruling in the website's favor, found that Voyeurdorm's customers weren't gathering at the Tampa home -- or anywhere else in Tampa. ''As a practical matter, zoning restrictions are indelibly anchored in particular geographic locations,'' the appeals court wrote. With Voyeurdorm, the court added, 'the public offering occurs over the Internet in `virtual space.' ''
Judge Cooke found that the same logic applied to Miami's Cocodorm. City legal staff tried to argue that wording differences between the Miami and Tampa ordinances meant the situations weren't identical, but Cooke disagreed.
''This argument must fail,'' Cooke, in her Jan. 27 ruling, wrote of the city's defense. While acknowledging Miami's ordinance did not contain the exact same language as Tampa's, Cooke wrote ``it is nonetheless its functional equivalent.''

Here's my question -- did Cooke's law clerks have to visit the site?


South Florida Lawyers said...

Hey, stick to your own beat!

David Oscar Markus said...

This District is my beat! But from now on, I will leave the gay porn websites to you.

South Florida Lawyers said...

Well-played, sir.

Anonymous said...

Meeeester Markus!!!!! Keep your prurient interest in our clerk's web habits to yourself.

Anonymous said...

How about something less prurient and more generally worth noting: the 11th Circuit in an en banc opinion overruled its prior decision in United States v. Brown, 79 F.3d 1550 (11th Cir. 1996), finding that the district court did not err in using the pattern jury instruction for mail fraud, that is, not limiting the mail fraud statute to schemes that would deceive only prudent persons. No matter what your particular persuasion -- prosecutor, defense lawyer, judge, or even criminal -- this is an important decision in white-collar cases.