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Trial set in July on Warren massage-parlor ordinance

Friday, May 4, 2012

WARREN — A final pretrial hearing will be July 26, followed by a trial July 30 in the suit filed by nine recreational massage parlors against the city and its new massage-parlor ordinance.

A hearing today in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court was in the chambers of Judge Peter Kontos, and nothing was discussed or done publicly.

Judge Kontos last month refused to grant a preliminary injunction in the case that would have stopped the city from enforcing the ordinance.

Next up is a trial that will decide whether the city overreached when it instituted new fees and hours of operation in February.

The new hours prohibit the businesses from operating from midnight to 6 a.m., and the annual fees increased from $750 per parlor to $1,800 and from $65 annually to $640 per massage therapist.

The new hours already took effect, but the new fees will be charged the first time in January 2013.

In the suit, the massage parlor owners said the new fees are “a veiled attempt to close the licensed business establishments through excessive and unreasonably expensive regulatory costs.”

One parlor owner said being closed from midnight to 6 a.m. will cut her revenues by 40 percent.