Dallas Man Files Lawsuit in Brothel Dispute

A Texas businessman has filed a federal lawsuit claiming a rural Nevada county violated his civil rights when it denied his application for a license to operate a brothel.
In a lawsuit filed March 5 in U.S District Court, Bruce Kahn, of Dallas, argued that a residency requirement in Nye County's license application violates the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The Nevada residency requirement has no "rational basis," the complaint said.
Kahn's company, TCR Holdings LLC, tried to buy the Chicken Ranch, a legal brothel in the desert town of Pahrump, 65 miles from Las Vegas. The deal fell apart when Kahn was denied a license in 2007.
The lawsuit claims Kahn was a rejected because of a county ordinance that requires a license application to include evidence that the applicant has lived in Nevada for at least six months. Kahn's attorney, Clyde DeWitt, said his client told Nye County officials he would move to Las Vegas after he obtained his license.
"That wasn't apparently a satisfactory response," said the DeWitt, who practices in both Las Vegas and Santa Monica, Calif.
The lawsuit names Nye County and the Nye County Licensing Board. Chief Deputy District Attorney Ron Kent was not available for comment Friday. Commissioner Andrew "Butch" Borasky, chairman of the licensing board, declined to comment.
According to the lawsuit, Kahn began negotiating to buy the bordello in September 2006 from its owner, Western Best Ltd. When a deal was reached, TCR Holdings deposited $150,000 earnest money into an escrow account pending a license to operate.
Kahn forfeited his earnest money after the board denied his application in June 2007, according to the complaint. Kahn claims he spent at least $80,000 in his effort to obtain the brothel license.
The complaint seeks a declaration that Nye County's residency requirement violates the due process clause of the Constitution, as well as a clause that prohibits states from enforcing laws that "abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States."
It also seeks an injunction that would prohibit Nye County from enforcing the residency requirement.
DeWitt, who primarily represents clients from the adult entertainment industry, said Kahn owns no other brothels.
"The bottom line is: As far as he or I can see, he is qualified to get a license, and that's all he's after, along with some money," the lawyer said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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