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Gang prevention law hurts Internet cafes

Can city ordinance require special permits for businesses?
Published on Jun 9, 2004

Thanh Thuy Vo owns a "CyberCafe" where individuals rent Internet computer time to send and receive e-mail messages, as well as research various topics. Within two years, the number of CyberCafes in Vo's community increased from 3 to 23. The police chief advised the city manager of a major increase in criminal gang activity near these CyberCafes, including a murder. He suggested a new ordinance regulating CyberCafes. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. In response, the city council enacted an ordinance requiring special CyberCafe permits based on "general welfare" criteria, including requirements for a curfew for minors, employee hiring criteria, and security guard requirements. Vo and other CyberCafe owners challenged the city ordinance, requesting an injunction against enforcement. They argued the ordinance violates their constitutional First Amendment free speech rights, and the rights of their customers. If you were the judge would you rule the new city ordinance requiring spe...

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