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City of Littleton, Colorado v. Z.J. Gifts D-4, L.L.C.

United States Supreme Court
514 U.S. 774 (2004)


The City of Littleton, Colorado (defendant) enacted an adult business ordinance that required an adult bookstore, adult novelty store, or adult video store to have an adult business license. The ordinance defined adult businesses, required applicants to provide certain basic information about their businesses, insisted upon compliance with local adult business (and other) zoning rules, listed eight specific circumstances that required the city to deny a license, and set forth time limits (usually forty days) within which city officials were required to reach a final licensing decision. The ordinance added that the final decision could be appealed to the state district court under Colorado rules of civil procedure. In 1999, a company called Z.J. Gifts D-4, L.L.C. (ZJ) (plaintiff) opened a store that sold adult books in a place not zoned for adult businesses within the City of Littleton. Instead of applying for an adult business license, ZJ brought suit in district court attacking Littleton’s ordinance as unconstitutional on its face. The district court rejected ZJ’s claims, but the court of appeals reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

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