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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Court Upholds Revocation of Local Massage Licenses

The Village of Downers Grove enacted an ordinance that provides that a massage establishment license is subject to suspension or revocation if the "Licensee or any massage therapist practicing at the licensed premises has committed a...Specified Criminal Act...on the Licensed Premises."  After an undercover investigation led to charges of prostitution by massage therapists at two massage establishments, the local commissioner conducted hearings and revoked the establishments' licenses. 

The establishments subsequently sued claiming that the Village's massage business commissioner abused his discretion in revoking their licenses for a "first offense" based on similar cases involving liquor license revocations.  However, both the trial court and appellate court upheld the Village's revocation of the establishments' licenses, finding that the violations were serious and "went to the essence of the problem that the Village's ordinance is aimed to prevent."  The appellate court also rejected the plaintiffs' argument that the revocation violated their due process rights because the owners did not know about the illegal activity involving the massage therapists.  King's Health Spa, Inc. v. Village of Downers Grove, 2014 IL App (2d) 130825 (June 11, 2014).

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink


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