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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The appellant, a dancer at an adult cabaret called Baby Dolls, is charged by information with recklessly touching a customer by rubbing her buttocks against the clothed genitals of the customer while appellant was exposing a portion of her breast, in violation of 41A-18.1(a) of the Dallas City Code. The appellant filed a pretrial application for writ of habeas corpus challenging the validity of 41A-18.1. She contended that the provision in 243.010(b) that makes any violation of a municipal ordinance related to sexually oriented businesses punishable as a Class A misdemeanor is an unconstitutional delegation of authority from the legislature to municipalities because the statute is undefined and grants unlimited authority to municipalities. Following a hearing, the trial court denied appellant relief. This appeal followed. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court agrees with the two Houston courts of appeals that Texas Local Government Code Chapter 243 does permit municipalities to regulate employee/customer conduct and make violations punishable as Class A misdemeanors. Chapter 243 grants municipalities the authority to regulate sexually oriented businesses. In enacting Chapter 243, the Legislature found that “the unrestricted operation of certain sexually oriented businesses may be detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare by contributing to the decline of residential and business neighborhoods and the growth of criminal activity.” The purpose of Chapter 243 is to give local governments a means of dealing with this problem. The Legislature granted municipalities authority to enact ordinances regarding sexually oriented businesses as considered necessary to promote the public health, safety, and welfare. The Legislature also specifically said that Chapter 243 does not diminish the authority of local governments to regulate sexually oriented businesses with regards to “any matters.” While Chapter 243 does contain certain provisions related to licensing and zoning, contrary to appellant’s assertion, nothing in the language of 243.006 or the other sections on which she relies limits the entirety of Chapter 243 or the penal provisions of 243.010 to licensing and zoning. The court concludes Chapter 243 provides sufficient guidance and limitations to municipalities in enacting ordinances regulating employee/customer conduct in sexually oriented businesses. The standards for regulation may be broad where conditions must be considered that cannot be conveniently investigated by the legislature. As long as the statute is sufficiently complete to accomplish regulation of the matter that falls within the legislature’s jurisdiction, the matters of detail reasonably necessary to the ultimate application, operation, and enforcement of the law may be expressly delegated to the authority charged with the administration of the statute, the court states. Section 243.001(a) specifically refers to the public health, safety, and welfare and the criminal activity that springs up around sexually oriented businesses. The chapter defines what types of businesses constitute sexually oriented businesses. Municipalities may only adopt regulations concerning sexually oriented businesses that are necessary to promote the public health, safety or welfare, and those regulations apply only within the corporate limits of the municipality. The terms “health,” “safety,” and “welfare” are not defined in Chapter 243, so we may give them their ordinary meaning, and the terms are common and easily comprehended. That there are areas for the exercise of discretion under the delegation of authority does not render the delegation unlawful where the standards formulated for guidance, though general, are capable of reasonable application. The court concludes that chapter 243 does not unconstitutionally delegate authority to municipalities to regulate employee/customer conduct in sexually oriented businesses. Because Chapter 243 permits municipalities to regulate employee/customer conduct and punish violations as Class A misdemeanors and such is not an unconstitutional delegation of authority, the court concludes 41A-18.1(a) of the Dallas City Code is not void. Therefore, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying appellant the relief sought by her application for writ of habeas corpus. OPINION:O’Neill, J.; O’Neill, Lang, and Lang-Miers

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