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Published May 17, 2012, 09:16 PM

Fantasy's Owners Take Legal Action Against GF, EGF

(WDAZ-TV) - The owners of the adult store Fantasy's are taking legal action against the cities of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, saying they were illegally blocked from opening their business in both cities.

(WDAZ-TV) - The owners of the adult store Fantasy's are taking legal action against the cities of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, saying they were illegally blocked from opening their business in both cities.

Owners Jim and Kim Patterson filed an administrative appeal in Grand Forks County District Court against the city's ordinance. They've also filed a lawsuit against the city of East Grand Forks in U.S. District Court in Minnesota on Thursday.

The Pattersons say they've been forced to pursue legal action because neither city will cooperate with them.

Their store on N. Washington St. in Grand Forks never had a chance to open, but their East Grand Forks store was open for about a day before being shut down.

"The main thing is just to get the store open," Kim Patterson said.

The Grand Forks City Council passed an ordinance in April that stopped the store from opening just one block from Winship Elementary. And after their struggles in Grand Forks, the Pattersons opened their East Grand Forks store without contacting the city.

"They've classified us as an adult store and we don't feel that we are an adult store," Kim Patterson said.

Because of that, East Grand Forks city officials say Fantasy's needs to move to the city's industrial zone.

"Part of it was our bachelorette product, which is a really mainstream product that you can get at a lot of different places. The girls wear it out in public to the bars for bachelorette parties, lots of different places. So we didn't feel that that was an adult item," Patterson said.

The Pattersons say the two cities left them no other option but to take legal action. They have filed an administrative appeal in Grand Forks County District Court against their ordinance and a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Minnesota.

"In East Grand Forks there are rules. There's not a definition for a sexually-oriented store and that's what they're calling us," Patterson said.

The lawsuit against East Grand Forks asks for reasonable damages, costs and attorney fees, as well as a preliminary and permanent injunction stopping the city from enforcing the ordinance on the business.

Both legal actions argue that the ordinances restricting the location of adult businesses are unconstitutional and inappropriately applied to Fantasy's.

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