Los Angeles County is disputing allegations by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation that it is failing to enforce Measure B, which requires mandatory condom usage on adult film shoots, by not collecting permit fees from production companies.
County Counsel Mark Saladino sent a letter to the Hollywood advocacy group on Jan. 30 in response to a letter AHF sent four days. AHF warned of court action if the county did not set a permit fee within 30 days that would fund enforcement measures.
The county’s response disagreed with AHF’s assertion it was under a duty to set a permit fee or that the courts had imposed a mandatory duty to do so.
“Accordingly, any litigation on this matter, as threatened in your letter, would be legally insupportable,” Saladino wrote.
AHF was the main proponent of Measure B, the ballot initiative approved by voters in November 2012. The measure was challenged by the adult industry, which has contended its protocols for testing performers for sexually transmitted diseases are adequate.
A lawsuit filed by Vivid Entertainment, one of the largest producers of adult films in the San Fernando Valley, and two performers challenged the law’s constitutionality.
In August 2013, a U.S. District Court judge in California struck down portions of the law, including a $2,000 to $2,500 permit fee, but upheld the constitutionality of requiring condoms in adult films. The judge allowed the county to charge a fee that was “revenue neutral” to cover enforcement costs. The Ninth Circuit Appellate Court agreed with that decision in a ruling made in December.
The AHF letter cited the Appellate Court’s decision as settling any dispute on the permit free and thereby requiring the county to require permits with “revenue neutral” fees that can fund enforcement.