City of New York v. New Saint Mark's Baths

130 Misc. 2d 911 (1986)

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City of New York v. New Saint Mark’s Baths

New York Supreme Court
130 Misc. 2d 911 (1986)

  • Written by Haley Gintis, JD

Facts

In response to the AIDS epidemic and the recognition that AIDS was spread by blood-to-blood or semen-to-blood contact, the state of New York enacted a regulation allowing cities to close facilities in which high-risk sexual activities took place. The regulation further provided that these facilities could be deemed as public nuisances that needed to be abated for the public health. Following the state’s enactment of the regulation, the city of New York (the city) (plaintiff) filed an action in the New York Supreme Court to seek an injunction against New Saint Mark’s Baths (Saint Mark’s) (defendant). The city inspectors had found that multiple acts of high-risk sexual activity had occurred at Saint Mark’s. The city argued that Saint Mark’s constituted a public nuisance due to the high-risk sexual activity and that the city was empowered to abate the nuisance by shutting down the facility. Saint Mark’s and four frequent patrons (collectively, Saint Mark’s) (defendants) opposed the injunction and moved to dismiss the city’s complaint on the ground that the injunction constituted an invasion of the right to privacy and the right to freedom of association. The court considered the case.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wallach, J.)

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