This week, Cook County Circuit Judge Peter Flynn dismissed claims made by a suburban Chicago convent, the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo, against their neighbor; Club Allure, a local strip club.
Nuns Accuse Local Club of Prostitution-Like Behaviors (and Of Being Generally Annoying)
The nuns had asserted that the club was violating prostitution regulations, noise ordinances, and is generally a nuisance to the sisters, the community, the neighborhood, and society. But Judge Flynn ruled that the strip club was not found to be in violation of any zoning laws.
The Judge also felt that the nuns’ claims of the club being a nuisance were too vague to legally prosecute over. He asked the convent’s lawyers to provide the court with specific instances of nuisance or lewd behavior rather than blanket accusations that won’t hold up in court.
After the ruling, the Missionary Sisters and their lawyers reasserted their desire to continue the lawsuit. Sister Noemia Silva said her Catholic order is called to “protect our values, and we will not change them.” They continued, saying that, “As (Catholics) we take vows, and we have something like this totally opposite going on.”
But the nun’s values being offended aren’t grounds for legal action without more specific cases of nuisance-like behavior, Judge Flynn advised. He told the nuns to rework their case with their lawyers, and then the matter might be revisited in the future when they have a more substantial case against the club or vice versa.
Judge Rules In Favor of Strip Club, But Nuns Are Setting Out to Sue Again
The convent’s attorney, Scott Bergthold, had previously asserted the nuisance-like behavior that the nuns had encountered as neighbors of the strip club included, “The noise, the late night fighting, litter, condom packages and those types of impact that affect the use and enjoyment of the people who have lived in that community for many years.”
The nun’s plan to continue their attack on the strip club, and to redouble their efforts. “There is hope. We cannot let our hearts grow faint,” Sister Noemia Silva said.
Allure’s attorney, Daniel Lynch, released his client’s own statement following the court ruling. “We’ve wanted to get our day in court to establish that this club was established legally. It operates legally. And we’re glad that we got a chance to be vindicated in court,” said Lynch.
Another one of the club’s attorneys, Robert Itzkow, is also one of the businesses’ former owners. “It is something in this country that is allowed. It is America. Everyone’s opinions as to what’s entertainment are allowed,” Itzkow said, adding that while the convent may not approve of the type of business that borders their property, there’s nothing illegal about it’s existence or operations.
But despite the lack of legal courses of action available to the nuns, they insist that the community would be better off if they were rid of Allure, its employees, and clientele’s influence on the area.