Mayfair House Files Lawsuit to Overturn West Hollywood Fur Ban Ordinance

Sep 25, 2013, 20:29 ET from Kelley Drye & Warren

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Sept. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mayfair House, a specialty clothing and accessory retail store located in West Hollywood, California today filed a lawsuit in federal court against the City of West Hollywood seeking to have the City's recently enacted Ordinance banning the sale of clothing containing fur declared unconstitutional and void both under the United States and California Constitutions. The 18 page, five-count Complaint asks the Court to permanently enjoin enforcement of the Ordinance, and further requests recovery of attorney's fees.

"The Ordinance is an ill-considered and illegal law that is harmful to the City, its consumer citizens and business residents.  It was passed by City Councilmen who have the political support of national animal rights activist groups who wish to impose their will over others despite the unconstitutional nature of the Ordinance," said Johanna Judah, owner of Mayfair House.

Michael O'Connor, a senior litigation partner in the L.A. office of Kelley Drye & Warren which filed the Complaint on behalf of Mayfair House, explained: "It is crystal clear that California's Constitution grants the state legislature the only authority to enact legislation relating to the protection of wildlife, including the exclusive power to pass laws regulating the market for products of wildlife, such as fur.  As a result, the City was preempted from, and had no authority to, enact the Ordinance."

Ms. Judah summarized her feelings about the Ordinance, as follows: "I am deeply concerned about the impact this ban will have on our city and its ability to attract and retain businesses that add to the image of our city.  This ban violates the very core values of freedom of choice for us and our customers that drew us to West Hollywood." 

Upon learning of the lawsuit, Keith Kaplan, Executive Director of The Fur Information Council of America applauded Mayfair House for stepping to the plate and filing its Complaint.  "We support Mayfair House's determination to have the Ordinance overturned and to protect the rights of businesses and consumers.  We too are committed to the overturning of the Ordinance and will support any and all efforts by injured parties.  Animal activist groups and their followers cannot be allowed to foist their radical ideas on the rest of society." 

Barring extensions of time, the City will have 21 days to file its response to the complaint.


SOURCE Kelley Drye & Warren